It’s been a year of job changes and layoffs. Let’s discuss minimum income requirements and how much money you have to make to file taxes.
Minimum Income Requirements & Tax Status
Let’s get right to it. Not everyone has to file taxes, and the need to file is based on minimum income requirements. If you don’t meet the minimum income requirements, you don’t have to file a tax return.
Here are a few things you’ll need to have to determine your minimum income requirements: filing status, federal income tax withheld for the year, and basic information to help calculate your gross income.
For taxpayers under the age of 65, here are the minimum income requirements by filing status:
- Single: $12,400
- Married, filing jointly: $24,800
- Head of household: $18,650
- Married, filing separately: $5
- Qualifying Widow(er): $24,800
For taxpayers 65 and older, the minimum income requirements are:
- Single: $14,050
- Married, filing jointly: $26,100 and $27,400 if both are 65 or older
- Head of household: $20,300
- Married, filing separately: $5
- Qualifying Widow(er): $26,100
There are also a handful of parameters that mean you have to file a tax return, regardless of income:
- You made a self-employment net income of at least $400
- You got any health savings account, Archer Medical Savings Account, or Medicare Advantage MSA distributions
- You currently owe taxes on IRA, health savings account, or other tax-favored accounts
- You owe alternative minimum tax
- You made more income than $108.28 from a church or church organization
- You owe recapture taxes
- You owe Social Security or Medicare tax on tips that you didn’t report to your employer or that your employer didn’t already take out of your pay
- You had advance payments of the premium tax credit made for you, your spouse, or a dependent who received insurance marketplace health coverage
- You had advance payments of the health coverage tax credit made for you, your spouse, or a dependent who received insurance marketplace health coverage
- You still owe uncollected Social Security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance or additional taxes on health savings accounts
For more information, check out IRS Publication 501.
Filing Taxes as a Student
If you have a child, they can be claimed as a dependent up to age 19, unless they go to college, which means you can claim them through age 24.
If dependents are involved in any way, you must file a tax return. If you are a dependent, the thresholds are different than those listed above, and you can check them out here.
Pro Tip: File Anyway
Though you may not meet the minimum income requirements, it’s still best practice to file a tax return anyway. Here’s why.
When you don’t file a tax return, someone might try to file for you. Filing a tax return can prevent identity theft and fraud – the IRS will notice the discrepancy much faster when two tax returns are filed under the same SIN.
Filing a return also helps keep the IRS from auditing you in the future, since they already have your tax background and information.
And lastly, you should always file because there’s always the possibility that you will get something back. And if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that your tax returns are even more useful for things like approving eligible parties for economic stimulus payments.
File with Confidence
Navigating the tax return process can be frustrating if you go it alone. Why not hire a team of experts to help you iron out the kinks?
Sign up for a free eFile360 account today for help with your tax questions, issues, and filings.