Do I Have to File a Tax Return?
When are you required to file a tax return? And if you are not required, is it beneficial to still file one anyway? Not having to file tax returns sounds great for anyone who qualifies, but it might be a good idea to file even if you’re showing zero income.
First, there are income requirements that must be met. If your income equals or exceeds the following amounts, you will have to file a tax return:
|Single under age 65||$12,000|
|Single age 65 or older||$13,600|
|Married filing jointly, both spouses under 65||$24,000|
|Married filing jointly, one spouse 65 or older||$25,300|
|Married filing jointly, both spouses 65 or older||$16,600|
|Married filing separately, any age||$5|
|Head of household under age 65||$18,000|
|Head of household age 65 or older||$24,000|
|Qualifying widow(er) under age 65||$24,000|
|Qualifying widow(er) age 65 or older||$25,300|
You are also required to file a tax return if you made $400 or more in self-employed income, received $108.28 or more of wages from a church, or if you received distributions from a health savings account.
So why file a return if you are not required to do so? There are certain refundable tax credits like Earned Income, Child Tax, and American Opportunity that you can qualify for whether you meet the income threshold or not. Another reason you might want to file a tax return is to protect yourself from future audits. The IRS can go back three years if you’ve reported your information accurately, but that only counts if you’ve actually filed a tax return for that given year. Finally, filing a tax return can protect you from identity theft. Filing a return allows you to inform the IRS of your actual income for the year and prevents anyone from using your name and social security number to report false income and credits for you.
If you have further questions regarding your tax return contact us!