How Much Money Do You Have to Make to File Taxes

How much money do you have to make to file taxes? Not everyone makes enough to file. The IRS has outlined several circumstances in which someone doesn't have to file a tax return, including people who earn below the set income limit. However, even if someone earns below the IRS-recommended income level, there are still a few reasons to consider filing anyway.

Earnings
Depending on multiple factors, such as age and marital status, you may be exempt from filing an income tax return. When in doubt, consult with a professional tax preparer for income tax help. The following income amounts are based on 2009 filing requirements.

  • Single taxpayers under age 65 only need to file returns if they earn more than $8,950.
  • Married couples under age 65 are only required to file if their combined income exceeds $17,900. If you are earning more than $400 annually by being self-employed (such as babysitting or selling crafts), you must file an income tax return.
  • Single people over 65 must file when their incomes exceed $10,300.
  • Married seniors over age 65 should earn more than $20,000 before filing a joint income tax return.
  • Incomes over $11,500 (under 65) and $12,850 (over 65) are the threshold for those filing as head of household.
  • Widowers and widows don't need to file an income tax return if they earn less than $14,400 while under 65 years old, or $15,450 while over 65 years old.
  • A dependent must file an income tax return if he or she earned more than $5,450 annually.
  • Those making less than $400 per year are exempt from filing an income tax return.
  • For employees of a non-profit church, the maximum income can be just $108.28.

When You Should File Anyway
Filing even if you don't have to might be a good idea. Among the reasons to file is to get an earned income tax credit, child tax credit or first time homebuyer credit. You should also file if you had federal income tax withheld at some point in the year.

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