Who Should File Taxes?

Last Revised on November 23, 2010

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Most most who have been working all year round never have to wonder whether or not they have to file tax return or not. This is because often times they expect to get a tax refund. But there are other various groups of people they start to wonder if they have to file taxes. So yeah, as easy as it might be for some people to say “Yes, I should file one”; there are other who have to ask if they have to. This is because for the latter group, things are complicated and often the answers aren’t specific enough. Therefore, I have gathered up some information to help those make up their mind about filing a tax return.

Who Should File Taxes this year 2010?
At the end of the year, if you receive W-2 form from your employer, you should definitely file one. There are two kinds of taxes – federal and state tax return. The Federal tax return criteria is same for everyone whereas State’s do tend to vary and are specific to it’s own law and legislation. The main factors determining whether or not you have to file taxes depend on your status of dependency, employment, income and age. Most important thing to remember is to if you make money, you have to pay; the above factors are just there to say how much of your income is taxable at the end of the day. Lets take age and employment for example; if you are only 13 years old and not working (well, legally aren’t supposed to be) you might say you are too young and don’t work. But the trick is if you are making money by other means, your income is taxable. Some rich kids have investment savings account, which is making them tons of money on a yearly basis so they have to file for taxes. Similarly, if you are retired and thus not working you might have to file a tax return for you might be getting SSI (Social Security or disability benefits) every month.

Actually the amount for a child or dependent (unmarried and younger than 65 years old) has to file taxes if they have unearned income of more than $950 or an earned income is more than $5,700 during that year.

Also there aren’t any fixed tax rate for specific groups of people because they are student, retired, teach, President, works for IRS, dependent, divorced, single, etc. There is something called Tax Bracket based on taxable income, that’s what government use to define how much you should be paying.

So how much money you should earn in a year to file a tax return? It doesn’t matter, just file one as soon as you get your w2 form. There are some conflicting numbers especially if you are self employed. Some say $400 per year and others say $600 that fiscal year with less the expenses paid in operating your trade or business, multiplied by 92.35%.

What if you don’t have any income but receive some benefits? Yes, you also then file taxes. Examples include, welfare, tax from recapture of an education credit, investment credit, low income housing credit, federal mortgage subsidy, qualified electric vehicle credit, stimulus check, etc.

Ok, what if IRS tells you that you don’t have to file taxes? Often times this is the case with very very low income families. If that’s the case, you are actually better off filing a tax return because even though you didn’t make much money to an extent where federal and state taxes were withheld, you might get the tax credits such as earned income credits and child credit you deserve in the form of refunds actually.

Well, if you are still not convinced whether or not you have to file tax return 2010 year please refer to the table below to see the specific income limits for different groups. IRS uses Gross Income as the main number; and it includes including any income from sources outside the United States.

Filing status
Your age when the tax year ended
you must file if your gross income (income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax.) is more than
Single under 65 $9,350
65 or older $10,750
Married Filing Jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $18,700
65 or older (one spouse) $19,800
65 or older (both spouses) $20,900
Married Filing Separately any age $3,650
Head of Household under 65 $12,000
65 or older $13,400
Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child under 65 $15,050
65 or older $16,150

Disclaimer: Please, check with your tax accountant or county offices if there are any changes in the requirement or any discrepancy with the information provided here. We have tried to provide you the most accurate and best information to our knowledge.

As always, please feel free to leave suggestions, ask any questions for help or simply discuss the topic. We highly appreciate your involvement and input everyday. If find it helpful, please share it with your friends by using one of the buttons below.

11 Responses to “Who Should File Taxes?”

  1. Tina Hanson, HR Block user Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks for the information on the income limits on filing taxes. Also if I am not wrong I think if you earn money online or from self employment, you fill out a tax schedule form for that. The minimum income limit used to $600, now if you make higher than $400 from self employment you have to file the tax return. Because with the self employment such as earning money online through internet web stuff, you aren’t paying taxes automatically unlike your regular job where it is cut out before you get the paycheck.

  2. Shorty Raymond Charles Thompson from Little Rock. Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Tina, that answers my question “do I have to file taxes?” It does make sense to file one because you never know how much tax credits money you get. Also for record keeping, it comes handy; there are unexpected times when you require to give people copy of your taxes. So if anybody still have a doubt in their mind, should I file taxes? The answer is yes, you should. I will tell my entire family that same thing, except my little kids of course.

  3. Nicholas Cage, Flyod Mayweather Jr and Wesley Snipes have one thing in common - tax evasion. LOL. Says:
    January 4th, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Anyways, I was wondering if you could tell us what to do if you didn’t file taxes last year. As far as I know, I was never required to do one because I barely worked; but now after reading this article I didn’t missed a lot of money that I could have gotten as tax credits. This year I plan to do my tax along with my other family members, will probably use one of those tax softwares since it will help a lot when you have too many people’s taxes to do. And print them out and send to the IRS instead of using the efile system from websites that trick you into paying like 30 dollars per individual forms.

  4. mncin Says:
    January 14th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    how to file if you earn money online? what tax form to use?

  5. Ain't No Expert, but Do Tax Help Stuff like eFile :) Says:
    January 15th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Hi mncin, it is very easy to file taxes for the money you earn online. You use the regular form that you usually use; probably it is 1040A that you used last year. Ok after that if you didn’t make any money from regular jobs, you leave the wages/salaries box empty; you just fill out the rest.
    Now the most important part is filling out Schedule C (for your online income) with it. Also use Schedule SE forms – those are self employment forms since your income is generated from your own home. Be sure to put all the information in Schedule C, which has five different parts from Part I-Income, Part II-Expenses, Part III-Costs of Goods Sold, Part IV-Vehicle Information, Part V-Other Expenses. Part 4 might not be relevant to you, so you can leave it empty. But don’t skip the part 5 – you can put the expenses that you didn’t include under part 2 expenses such as cost for web desinger, domain names, webhosting fees, etc. These will help you get the deduction you deserve. Good luck.

  6. IRS audited me, now what Says:
    November 28th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Are their any online company that can really help me with irs tax problems? back taxes? I have few hundred dollars that I owe IRS for some reason, i think it was after they audited my account that they found out. I live paychek to paycheck so right now I can’t afford to pay them back anytime soon.

  7. no income last year, should i still be filing tax return? Says:
    December 25th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Do I have to file taxes if I didn’t work last year? I made only few hundred dollars from here and there, but I didn’t have any income. I do have medical bills, student loans and other things to pay; so do I get to claim and get refund even though I don’t have w2 forms? thanks for your helping me with filing taxes.

  8. tax question, need help Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Do I have to file taxes if I didn’t work last year? I made only few hundred dollars from here and there, but I didn’t have any income. I do have medical bills, student loans and other things to pay; so do I get to claim and get refund even though I don’t have w2 forms? thanks for your helping me with filing taxes.

  9. $1.50 witheld on my w2 Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Do i file my taxes if i was withheld $1.50 . I only worked for one month last year

  10. if I have US bank account only Says:
    April 10th, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I did not work in last year. In fact I was out of country working in a different country. However I do have a US investments and bank accounts, with over all income less than 100dollars should I file taxes?

  11. pat Says:
    April 13th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    i,m on ss imade 915.00 plus 111.27 a month last year i was told that i wouldnt have to file taxes on this is this true? THE 111.27 Was a retirement check. please answer thank you

    Hi Pat, sorry for the late reply. I think currently IRS guidelines say that you will have to file taxes if you file a federal tax return as an individual and your total income is more than $25,000 (including social security benefits in this amount). If you file a joint return with somebody like a spouse, you will have to file taxes if you and your spouse have a total income of more than $32,000. Take care.

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