Frequently Asked Questions - Who Must File ?
Who must file a Tax Return ?

Almost everyone needs to file an income tax return. There are exceptions made for people who earn relatively small incomes.
You must also file a tax return if any of the following apply to you:

  1. Single (under age 65 - $10,150 ; over age 65 - $11,700)
  2. Head of Household ( under age 65 - $13,050; over age 65 - $14,800)
  3. Married filing separately ( any age -  $3,950 )
  4. Married filing jointly (both under age - 65 $20,300; one over age 65 - $21,500;  both over age - 65 $22,700)
  5. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child (under 65, - $16,350; over 65 - $17,850)

Gross income includes all income that is not tax exempt, and even if a taxpayer's gross income is less than the amount required for filing a return, there are other factors which will require that a tax return be filed. Those other factors are:

  • An individual owes any special tax to the IRS, such as AMT, IRA tax penalties, or FICA tax on tips.
  • Individual received any advance earned income credit payments from an employer.
  • Individual had net earnings from Self-Employment of $400 or more.
  • Individual is a non-resident alien with a business or tax liability not covered by withholding.

Even an individual with gross income under the limit for his or her filing status still may want to file a return to get back income taxes withheld from earned income above the tax liability on the tax return. Essentially, to get his or her income tax refund, a return will need to be filed.