Do I have to file a tax return?

If your income is low enough, you may not need to file a tax return. However, even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return if you are getting a refund from the IRS. If you had income tax withheld from your wages, you qualify for the earned income credit, or you qualify for the additional child tax credit, you should file a return to get your refund.

In most situations (see exceptions below), you don't have to file a 2013 tax return if your gross income is less than what is shown in the following table for your filing status. Gross income means all income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States (even if you may exclude part or all of it). Social security benefits are not included as gross income unless you are married filing a separate return and lived with your spouse at any time in 2013.

Filing Status Age Gross Income
Single under 65 $10,000
Single 65 or older $11,500
Married Filing Jointly under 65 (both spouses) $20,000
Married Filing Jointly 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200
Married Filing Jointly 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400
Married Filing Separately any age $3,900
Head of Household under 65 $12,850
Head of Household 65 or older $14,350
Qualifying Widow(er) under 65 $16,100
Qualifying Widow(er) 65 or older $17,300


Filing Requirement If You Are a Dependent
If your parents (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, and any of the situations below apply to you, you must file a return.

Single dependents who are younger than age 65 and not blind must file a return if any of the following apply:
1. Your unearned income was more than $1,000.
2. Your earned income was more than $6,100.
3. Your gross income was more than the larger of: 1) $1,000, or 2) Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350.

Single dependents who are older than age 65 or blind must file a return if any of the following apply:
1. Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind).
2. Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind).
3. Your gross income was more than the larger of: 1) your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind), or 2) $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind).

Married dependents who are younger than age 65 and not blind must file a return if any of the following apply:
1. Your earned income was more than $6,100.
2. Your unearned income was more than $1,000.
3. Your gross income was more than the larger of: 1) $1,000, or 2) Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350.
4. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.

Married dependents who are older than age 65 or blind must file a return if any of the following apply:
1. Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind).
2. Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind).
3. Your gross income was more than the larger of: 1) your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind) or 2) $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind).
4. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.

Children under age 14
If your child is younger than age 14 and the child's only income is interest and dividends (including Alaska Permanent Fund dividends) and certain other conditions are met, a parent can elect to include the child's income on the parent's return. If this election is made, the child does not have to file a return. The election is made on Form 8814.

Other Situations When You Must File
You must file a return even if your income is less than the normal filing threshold if any of the following conditions below apply for 2013.
1. You owe any special taxes, such as Social security and Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer, Uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance, Alternative minimum tax, Tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account.
2. You (or your spouse, if filing jointly) received HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA distributions..
3. You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400.
4. You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes.

Save Time...
          ...File Online




Free Tax e-file!

FreeTaxUSA.com
- 100% Accuracy Guarantee
- Safe & Secure
- Federal 100% Free
- State Only $12.95

© 2005-2012 webTAXcenter.com, a TaxHawk, Inc. owned and operated web site