When do you need To File a Federal Income Tax Return?

Every year the questions “Do I need a file a Federal Income Tax Return? How much do you have to make to file a federal income tax return? What is the minimum income to file a federal income tax return?  Or “When am I required to file a Federal Tax Return?” are brought back to life during tax season. Today we will talk about when are you required to file a federal tax? When you should file a tax return even when you are not required? And when you are not required to file a return? So here we go.

 

When are you required to file a federal income tax return?

 

  1. When you don’t meet the minimum income criteria (see points below under when you are not required to file a federal tax return) and for the following reasons:

 

  • If you are a self-employed person, you must file your federal tax returns if your net earnings are $400 or more. This also includes non-employee compensation reported on Box 7 of Form 1099-MISC. Read if self-employed should incorporate.
  • If you owe special taxes like recapture taxes, alternative minimum tax, write-in taxes, household employment taxes, repayment of homebuyers credit, taxes on tips when employer did not withhold.
  • If your wages from a church, or qualified church-controlled organization, were $108.28 or more.
  • If you, your spouse, or a dependent (enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace) had received advance payments of the premium tax credit.
  • If you received Health Savings Account (HAS) distribution, Archer MSA and Advantage MSA distribution.
  • If you took an early distribution from retirement plans.
  • If you made excess contribution to IRA or MSA.
  • If you didn’t take required minimum distribution.
  • Find out more by contacting us.

 

  1. If you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return then you must file a federal tax return because of the following reasons:

 

  • If you are a single dependent under the age of 65, and not blind, you must file your federal tax returns if your earned or unearned income was more than $6,350 or $1,050 respectively.
  • If you are a single dependent above the age of 65, or blind, you must file your federal tax returns if your earned or unearned income was more than $7,900 or $2,600 respectively.
  • If you are single dependent above the age of 65 and blind, you must file your federal tax returns if your earned or unearned income was more than $9,450 or $4,150 respectively.
  • If you are a married dependent and either you or your spouse is under 65 and not blind, you must file your federal tax returns if your earned or unearned income was no less than $6,350 or $1,050 respectively, or if your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  • If you are a married dependent and either you or your spouse is above 65, or blind, you must file your federal tax returns if your earned or unearned income was more than $7,600 or $2,300 respectively, or your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions wherein your gross income was at least $5.
  • If you are a married dependent and either you or your spouse is above 65 and blind. You must file your federal tax returns if your earned or unearned income was more than $8,850 or $3,550 respectively, or your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions wherein your gross income was at least $5.

 

When you should file a federal income tax return even when you are not required?

 

 

When you are not required to file a federal income tax return?

 

Generally, you file your taxes because of your income, but that does not always stand true. Even if you had received income, it does not mean that you have to file your federal income tax returns. Compare 2018 with 2017 tax brackets to get more information of gross income. For a quick check let’s understand various scenarios wherein you are required to file your returns.

 

  • If you are single and under the age of 65 with a gross income of $10,400.
  • If you are single and above the age of 65 with a gross income of $11,950.
  • If you are married, filing jointly and both you and your spouse are under the age of 65 with a gross income of $20,800.
  • If you are married, filing jointly and either you or your spouse is above the age of 65 with a gross income of $22,050.
  • If you are married, filing jointly and both you and your spouse are above the age of 65 with a gross income of $23,300.
  • If you are married, filing separately with a gross income of $4,050. (Any age group)
  • If you are the head of household and under the age of 65 with a gross income of $13,400.
  • If you are the head of household and above the age of 65 with a gross income of $14,950.
  • If you are a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child and under the age of 65 having a gross income of $16,750.
  • If you are a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child and above the age of 65 having a gross income of $18,000.

 

Note: Gross income includes all your income that is subject to taxes. Also read the about updates in tax law for individuals.

 

It should also be noted that the above rules are applicable to Federal Income Tax return and may vary from your state. That being said, even if you are not subject to file your federal tax return, you might still have to file your state tax return. So, it is highly recommended to consult a tax professional or your CPA instead of deciding on your own.



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