Therefore, in this article today we are going to discuss who has to file a tax return so you can start preparing now if you fall into the tax return filing category.
Determining if you are someone who is required to file a tax return is going to depend on your age, gross income, and filing status. However, if you are not required to file a tax return it is recommended that you do especially if you can receive a tax refund.
Reasons to file taxes when you are not required to
- Your employer withheld taxes from your salary
- You paid estimated tax payments throughout the year or your overpaid in taxes the prior year
- You receive the American Opportunity Credit
- You are repaying the First-Time Homebuyer credit
- You should receive a refundable credit for paying the alternative minimum tax during the prior year
- You receive the Earned Income Credit
- You have adopted a child during the year
- You receive the Additional Child Tax Credit
- You receive the Health Coverage Tax Credit
- You receive the federal fuel tax credit.
Terms you need to know
Gross income – Gross income is the income that you received in money, goods, property, or services. However, tax-exempt income is not included.
Filing status – Your filing status is based on your status on the last day of the year. It is based off your family situation – i.e. single or married.
Age – Tax filing requirements are primarily based on your gross income. However, if you are 65 or older your gross income is going to be higher than those ages 64 and under.
Determining whether or not you have to file
- If your filing status is single and at the end of the year, you were under 65 you must file if your gross income is $10,000 or above. If you are over 65 you must file if your income is $11,500 or above.
- If your filing status is married filing jointly and at the end of the year both spouses are under 65 you must file if your gross income is $20,000 or above. If one spouse is 65 or older you must file if your gross income is $21,200 or above. If both spouses are older than 65 the gross income requirement is $22,400.
- If you are married filing separately regardless of your age you must file if your gross income is at least $3,900 you must file.
- If you are head of household and under the age of 65, you must file if your income is at least $12,850. If you are over the age of 65, you must file if your gross income is $14,250.
- If you are a qualifying widower with a dependent child and under 65, you must file if your gross income is $16,100. If you are over 65, your gross income has to be under $17,300 to avoid filing.
Note: If your birthday is January 1, you are considered 65 at the end of the year.
Overall, filing taxes does not have to be that hard. If you are receiving money back, it is recommended that you file even if you are not required to. Filing can be simple with TurboTax online and they make sure that you get your largest refund possible.