Saima UribeSaima Uribe
Do I Have to File a Tax Return?

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!

About Saima Uribe

Saima earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with a minor in Human Resources from Purdue University.  When she’s not working on your taxes, you’ll find her at a tournament watching one of her four sons take down a competitor on the wrestling mat. She loves her kids, but don’t make her take them shopping.  They are constantly rushing her, telling her not to buy a new pair of boots, and insisting on hitting up the food court.