Who Must File a Tax Return?

There are some instances when you may not be required to file a federal income tax return. But keep this in mind — more than 70 percent of those who file are due a refund, so it may be to your advantage to file even if you are not required to.

The law does require you to file a tax return if your income is above a certain level. Check the instructions for Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ (under "filing requirements") for specific details that may affect your need to file a tax return with IRS this year.

Here are some general guidelines for anyone under age 65. Remember, these guidelines may change based on your particular situation. In general, once you have the following gross income amounts, the law requires you to file a federal tax return with the IRS:

Single $ 7,700
Head of Household $ 9,900
Married Filing Jointly $13,850
Married Filing Separately $ 3,000

Generally, a person who is self-employed must file a tax return if his or her net earnings from self-employment for the year exceed $400.

Even individuals who don't earn enough to be required to file a tax return may be eligible for an earned income credit up to $2,506 for a taxpayer with one qualifying child and $4,140 for a taxpayer with two or more qualifying children. Some individuals who do not have a qualifying child may be eligible for a credit of up to $376. However, you must file a return to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit. You must also file a return if you received any advance payments of this credit while you worked during the year.


This daily Tax Tip has been provided by the IRS

Note: These tips are provided to help trigger ideas on ways to minimize your tax burden, not as a substitute for professional advice. There is no "one-size-fits-all" answer - each taxpayer's situation is different. You should contact your tax preparer to determine together how this may affect your unique situation.

You may like these other stories...

Being an accountant doesn't mean you're giving investment advice to clients. However, at tax time, accountants often have to deal with the results of any investment advice clients obtained during the year—the...
Anti Burger Kings: Seven US companies shrinking tax the old-fashioned wayBurger King’s decision to combine with Canadian donut shop Tim Hortons is renewing controversy over the lengths some US companies will go to...
A new report released on Tuesday found that the US airline industry receives nearly $1 billion in tax breaks annually from states for jet fuel.The study, conducted by UNITE HERE International Union, a labor union that...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Aug 28
Excel spreadsheets are often akin to the American Wild West, where users can input anything they want into any worksheet cell. Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to restrict user inputs to selected choices, but there are many nuances to the feature that often trip users up.
Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.