Does Everyone Need to File an Income Tax Return? – TurboTax Tax Tips & Videos

overview not everyone is required to file an income tax return each year. Generally, if your entire income for the year does n’t exceed certain thresholds, then you do n’t need to file a federal tax recurrence. The total of income that you can earn before you are required to file a tax return besides depends on the type of income, your age and your filing condition .

Mother and daughter having coffee and working together on their taxes.

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Key Takeaways
• If your income is less than your standard deduction, you broadly don ’ t need to file a come back ( provided you do n’t have a type of income that requires you to file a return for other reasons, such as self-employment income ).
• In most cases, if you only receive Social Security benefits, you won ’ t need to file a tax render .
• If you receive Social Security benefits and besides receive tax-exempt security income, the tax-exempt security income may cause your Social Security benefits to be taxable.
• Taxpayers who are claimed as a dependent on person ‘s tax return must file a tax return when their earned income is more than their standard subtraction, or, for certain children, when their unearned income is greater than $ 1,100 .

Consider your gross income thresholds

Most taxpayers are eligible to take the standard tax write-off. The standard tax subtraction amounts that you ‘re eligible for are chiefly determined by your long time and charge status. These amounts are set by the government before the tax filing season and broadly increase for inflation each class .
The standard discount, along with early available deductions, reduces your income to determine how much of your income is taxable. equally long as you do n’t have a type of income that requires you to file a hark back for other reasons, like self-employment income, by and large you do n’t need to file a restitution as long as your income is less than your standard deduction.
For example, in 2021, you do n’t need to file a tax fall if all of the following are true for you :

  • Under age 65
  • Single
  • Don’t have any special circumstances that require you to file (like self-employment income)
  • Earn less than $12,550 (which is the 2021 standard deduction for a single taxpayer)

What if I only receive Social Security benefits?

In most cases, if you only receive Social Security benefits you would n’t have any taxable income and would n’t need to file a tax return .
One catch with Social Security benefits is if you are married but file a branch tax return from your spouse who you lived with during the year. then you will always have to include at least some of your Social Security benefits in your taxable income to see if it is greater than your standard deduction .

When Social Security benefits may be taxable

When determining whether you need to file a return and you receive Social Security benefits, you need to consider tax-exempt income because it can cause your benefits to be taxable even if you do n’t have any other taxable income.

here ‘s an example of where you may need to file, even with tax-exempt income :

  • You are under age 65 and receive $30,000 in Social Security benefits, but also receive another $31,000 in tax-exempt interest. $14,700 of your Social Security benefits will be considered taxable income.
  • This is greater than your standard deduction ($12,550 for a single taxpayer in 2021) and you would need to file a tax return.

To figure out if your Social Security benefits are taxable :

  • Add one-half of the Social Security income to all other income, including tax-exempt interest.
  • Then compare that amount to the base amount for your filing status.
  • If the total is more than the base amount, some of your benefits may be taxable.

TurboTax can help you estimate if you ‘ll need to file a tax return and what income will be taxable .

TurboTax Tip: If you have had federal taxes withheld from your paycheck, you might want to file a return even when you are not required to, so you can receive your tax refund .

Income thresholds for taxpayers 65 and older are higher

If you are at least 65 years old, you get an increase in your standard deduction. You besides get an increase standard deduction if :

  • You are blind
  • Or your spouse is also at least 65
  • Or if your spouse is blind

The largest standard discount would be for a married pair that are both blind and both over 65 years old .
Having a larger criterion discount can allow you to have more income than person under age 65 and still not have to file a return. TurboTax can help you estimate if you ‘ll need to file a tax return and what income will be taxable .

When a dependent (child or adult) may need to file a tax return

Taxpayers who are claimed as a dependent on person ‘s tax return key are subject to different IRS filing requirements, regardless of whether they are children or adults. A tax come back is necessary when their gain income is more than their standard deduction .
The standard deduction for one dependents who are under age 65 and not blind is the greater of:

  • $1,100 in 2021
  • Or the sum of $350 + the person’s earned income, up to the standard deduction for an unclaimed single taxpayer which is $12,550 in 2021.

A pendent ‘s income can be “ unearned ” when it comes from sources such as dividends and concern. When a pendent ‘s unearned income is greater than $ 1,100 in 2021, the dependent must file a tax reelect .

When you may want to submit a tax return to claim a tax refund

With all the above being said, there are years when you might not be required to file a tax return but may want to. If you have federal taxes withheld from your paycheck, the only way you can receive a tax refund when excessively much was withheld is if you file a tax return .

  • For example, if you are a single taxpayer who earns $2,500 during the year, with $300 withheld for federal tax, then you are entitled to a refund for the entire $300 since you earned less than the standard deduction.
  • The IRS doesn’t automatically issue refunds without a tax return, so if you want to claim any tax refund due to you, then you should file one.

Remember, with TurboTax, we ‘ll ask you simple questions about your biography and avail you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done proper, from simple to complex tax returns, no topic what your situation .

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