Way back in the day when I was in High School, I had a small ‘side hustle’ of sorts, where I did taxes for some of the local kids I worked with washing dishes.
They were amazed that I was able to get them a couple hundred bucks back a year. And they paid me accordingly.
Well, the reason for this was simple, they were having income taxes withheld from their paychecks but their Adjusted Gross Income was less than the standard deduction. This means that they had NO taxable income yet had taxes withheld.
So, when they filed taxes they got ALL the withheld income taxes back. All of it! Now, they didn’t get their FICA back, only income taxes.
The same thing can happen for your child too. If Joanie made $10k being a host at the local Japanese Steakhouse she owes NO income tax. Why? Because her standard deduction in 2018 is $12k. Any amount that was withheld is her money.
But she needs to file a return to get it back. No return, no refund!
Again, the 7.65% she had withheld due to FICA will not be refunded. But the income tax will.
So, file away! It’s your money, go get it!