Do I Have to File for Taxes if My Income is Low?

February 14, 2020

In the huge majority of cases, you don’t need to file a federal return if you have no income or if your income falls under IRS minimums. Exceptions do apply. For example, if you’re self-employed and have an income of at least $400, you need to pay taxes and file. The IRS adjusts the minimum amount from year to year, so keep an eye on that figure. Ask Encino Tax Consultants about your specific income situation and whether you are required to file.

Overview of Minimum Income

The minimum income level changes according to your age and filing status. It’s also based on inflation. For the tax year 2019, the IRS set these minimums:

• Married filing jointly, both spouses under 65: $24,400
• Married filing jointly, one spouse age 65 or older: $25,700Married filing jointly, both spouses 65 or older: $27,000
• Head of household, under age 65: $18,350
• Single, under age 65: $12,200
• Single, age 65 or older: $13,850
• Married filing separately, any age: $5

Is the $5 on the last one a typo? Nope! The IRS really wants both spouses to file. Los Angeles Tax Preparation services can help determine whether you need to file, and if so, your filing status.

Some Exceptions to Not Filing

You may still have to file if you are self-employed with at least $400 in earnings or if one of these other situations applies:

• Your employer did not withhold taxes from your paycheck.
• You, your spouse and/or your dependents were enrolled through the health care marketplace, and either you or your insurer received tax credit payments.
• You owe tax on a qualified retirement plan.

Many more exceptions apply.

Advantages of Filing

You may want to file even if you don’t have to. For example, you might qualify for a refund. Plus, filing protects yourself in case of audits and even identity theft. Encino Tax Advisors can help you file. Also, consult tax professionals about state taxes.