Home Tax Return Do I Have to File a Tax Return?

Do I Have to File a Tax Return?

In the United States, people must file for a tax return so that the state and federal authorities can determine the financial liability of taxation on a yearly income. In some cases, the taxpayers will find that they were being charged to much and will receive a tax return refunding them the difference in the amount.

Other situations will consist of the taxpayer being charged insufficient amounts, and must pay the difference to the appropriate governmental agency. However, for any tax return to take place, the person must correctly file taxes. Unfiled tax returns will not be able to render any kind of tax return to a particularly individual. Unifiled tax returns would mean that the governmental agencies involved would have no way to determine the financial liability for the particular individual, and thus, no tax return can be furnished.

FORM 1040, Individual Income Tax Return

FORM 1040A, Individual Income Tax Return

FORM 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

FORM 1040EZ, Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers with No Dependents

FORM 1041, Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts

FORM 1041, Instructions

FORM 1041 ES, Estimated Income Tax for Estates and Trust

FORM 1065, Return of Partnership Income

FORM 1099, Miscellaneous Income

FORM W-2, Wage and Tax Statement

FORM 1120, Corporation Income Tax Return

FORM 1120, Instructions

FORM 1120S, S-Corporation Income Tax Return

FORM 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return


Alabama Forms (Indi 

1. 2. 3. Corp 1. 2.)

Alaska Forms (Corporate 1.)

Arizona Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)

Arkansas Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4.  Corp 1. 2.)

California Forms (Indi  1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1. 2. 3.)

Colorado Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1. 2.)
Connecticut Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1. 2.)

Delaware Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2. 3.
Florida Forms (Corporate 
1. 2. 3.)

Georgia Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1. 2. 3.)

Hawaii Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1.)

Idaho Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1.)

Illinois Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)

Indiana Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1.)

Iowa Forms (Indi 1. Copr 1. 2.)

Kansas Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1.)

Kentucky Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1. 2.)

Louisiana Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1.)

Maine Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1.)

Froms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1. 2.)

Massachusetts Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2. 3.)

Michigan Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)

Minnesota Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1. 2. 3.)

Mississippi Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1.)

Missouri Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)

Montana Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1. 2.)

Nebraska Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)
New Hampshire Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1. 2.)
New Jersey Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)
New Mexico Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1. 2.)
New York Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2. 3.)

North Carolina Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)

North Dakota Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1.)

Ohio Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1.)

Oklahoma Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1.)

Oregon Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. Corp 1. 2. 3.)

Pennsylvania Forms (Income Tax Return)

Rhode Island Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2.)

South Carolina Forms (Indi 1. 2. Corp 1. 2. Inst)

South Dakota Forms (Corp 1. 2.)

Tennessee Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1. 2.)

Utah Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1. 2.)

Vermont Forms (Indi 1. Corp 1. 2.)

Virginia Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp. 1. 2. 3.)

Washington Forms (SellerBuyer)

West Virginia Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1.)

Wisconsin Forms (Indi 1. 2. 3. 4. Corp 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.)


Do I have to file a tax return? This is one of the most common questions people ask every tax season. The answer is not straightforward because it varies based on a variety of factors, such as your age, income, filing status, and other circumstances. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of filing tax returns and provide important and updated information on the topic.

Age and Filing Status

Your filing status and age often determine whether you are required to file a tax return. For example, if you are single and under the age of 65, you don’t have to file a tax return if your income falls below $12,200. However, if you are married and filing jointly, your income threshold is $24,400 if both of you are under age 65. Individuals over the age of 65 have higher thresholds. For example, if you are single and over the age of 65 and your income is below $13,850, you don’t have to file a tax return.

Furthermore, if you had earned income of at least $5, but not over $400 as a self-employed individual, you must file a tax return even if your income is below the filing threshold. This requirement applies to all individuals, regardless of their age or filing status.

Taxable Income

Another critical factor that determines your tax filing obligation is your taxable income. Taxable income is the amount of your income subject to federal income tax. The IRS calculates taxable income by subtracting your eligible deductions from your gross income.

For example, if you are single and under the age of 65, you must file a tax return if your taxable income is equal to or greater than $12,200. However, if you are married filing jointly, you must file a tax return if your taxable income is at least $24,400. Additionally, if you are self-employed, the IRS requires you to file a tax return if your net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more.

Government Assistance

If you receive government assistance, such as Social Security or disability benefits, you may wonder if you need to file a tax return. As a general rule, if your only income source is Social Security or other public assistance programs, you don’t have to file a tax return unless you receive a substantial amount of interest or investment income.

However, if you receive taxable government assistance, such as unemployment benefits or workers’ compensation, you must report that income on your tax return. If you received $10 or more in unemployment compensation or workers’ compensation payments during the year, you will receive a Form 1099-G, which you must include in your tax return.

Other Circumstances

There are also other circumstances that may require you to file a tax return, such as if you owe any special taxes or have certain types of income. Below are some examples of circumstances that may trigger a tax filing requirement:

– Self-employment income: If you are self-employed, you must file a tax return if your net earnings from self-employment are $400 or more.

– Investment income: If you earned more than $10 in interest, dividends, or capital gains, you must file a tax return.

– Foreign accounts: If you are a US resident who has a financial interest in or signature authority over any foreign accounts with a total value of over $10,000 at any time during the year, you must file an FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) and may need to file Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets).

– Health insurance: If you received advance payments of the premium tax credit to help pay for your health insurance and failed to reconcile those payments on your tax return, you must file a tax return.
– Social Security and Medicare taxes on tips: If you work in a job that receives tips, you must file

a tax return if your total tips plus wages are less than the combined Social Security and Medicare tax you owe on your tips.

Benefits of Filing a Tax Return

Filing a tax return may not be the most enjoyable task to do, but there are some significant benefits to doing so. Below are some reasons why filing a tax return may be beneficial:

– Refunds: If you have overpaid your taxes or are eligible for a tax refund, you won’t receive this money unless you file a tax return.

– Credit reporting: The IRS reports tax payment history to credit reporting agencies. Paying your taxes on time and following tax laws can help establish a good credit rating.

– Tax compliance: Filing a tax return on time and paying taxes due can help you avoid penalties and interest for late filing or underpayment of taxes.

– Eligibility for social programs: Filing a tax return may help you qualify for social programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Penalties for Not Filing a Tax Return

If you are required to file a tax return and fail to do so, you may be subject to penalties and interest charges. The IRS usually assesses two types of penalties for late filings: a failure-to-file penalty and a failure-to-pay penalty.

The failure-to-file penalty is generally 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month the tax return remains unfiled after the due date, up to a maximum of 25%. If you file your tax return more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty will be either $435 or 100% of the unpaid tax amount, whichever is less.

The failure-to-pay penalty is generally 0.5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month the tax is unpaid, up to a maximum of 25%. If you filed your return on time but didn’t pay the taxes due, this penalty applies from the payment due date until the taxes are paid in full.

In addition to these penalties, the IRS may also impose interest charges on taxes owed and penalties assessed.


In conclusion, filing a tax return is required when you meet certain criteria, such as your filing status, age, income, or other circumstances. Failing to file a tax return can lead to penalties and interest charges, which can be substantial over time.

To avoid penalties and stay on the right side of the law, it’s essential to understand your filing obligations and file a tax return by the due date. If you’re not sure where you stand or need help with your tax return, don’t hesitate to reach out to a tax professional or the IRS for guidance. Keeping up to date with new guidelines and always being informed on current tax-related news can make tax season an easier and less stressful experience.