Under certain circumstances, Social Security survivors' benefits are taxable, according to the IRS. The amount of income tax that must be paid on the benefits is determined by the survivor's total amount of income and benefits for the taxable year.
If the total of one half of the child's Social Security benefits and all the child's other income is greater than the base amount applying to the child's filing status, some of the benefits may be taxable according to the IRS. The base amount is $25,000 if the child is single. The taxable amount of the benefits can be calculated by using a worksheet in the Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A or Publication 915.