How much money do you have to make to file taxes?… What is the minimum income to file taxes?…
These types of common tax questions have been asked over & over again on search engines and message boards all across the web.
It’s a Good Question with Multiple Answers. Read on...
This article is for US taxes. The requirements will vary depending on 3 Major Factors: Your Age, Filing Status, and Type of Income You Receive. For example: At the end of 2015, if you were single and under 65 and earned a gross income of least 10,300, then for most taxpayers this would trigger a filing requirement. And at the end of 2015, if you were single and over 65 and had a gross income of at least 11,850, then for most taxpayers this income amount would also trigger a filing requirement.
These filing requirement variations can go on & on all day long. Again, it all depends on the 3 Major factors of Age, Filing Status and Income Type Received. IRS Publication 501 gives further details concerning the question of “How much money do you have to make to file taxes?”
Or view the chart below which is a quick summary for the 2015 tax filing requirements for most taxpayers:
2015 Tax Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers
NOTE: This is the latest info that I’ve found. Tax laws change like the wind, which is why it’s always best to consult with your personal accountant or tax professional. This article is for informational purposes only.
Are you SURE you’re an employee???
You may think that you’re an employee BUT you could actually be an independent contractor (self-employed individual) and not even realize it!
Well I’ve got news for you…
If your job surprising doesn’t take any taxes out of your check – and you receive a 1099 rather than a W2 during tax season — then YOU my friend are considered a self-employed individual in the eyes of the Government, and YOU are responsible for paying personal taxes and subject to self-employment tax as well.
Many employers have been “hiring” people like this in order to avoid the expenses of hiring “real employees” while still maintaining complete control over you as an employee – even though you’re not. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. Now I’m not trying to get you all revved-up about your job and all because we all need to keep food on the table — but hey that’s the scoop!
NOTE: You’re also required to file if you had net earnings i.e., after expenses in self-employment income of at least $400. If you find that you fall into the category of self-employed / small business owner, then also visit my List of Business Tax Deductions to discover multiple items that you may be able to write-off on your taxes.
As an employee, you should receive W2 forms that reports your earnings for the year. If you were an independent contractor then you should receive a 1099 form. If you were both, then expect to get both. When you file, in order to maximize your return and lessen the amount of taxes that you owe, be sure to deduct as many legitimate items as possible. Consult with with your accountant or tax professional for best results.
The submission deadline for 2015 IRS Tax Returns is Monday, April 18, 2016, as apposed to the normal April 15th date. This is because Washington, D.C., will be celebrating Emancipation Day on the 15th, which causes the traditional tax deadline to be pushed back to Monday, April 18th for the majority of the nation.
NOTE: For Maine and Massachusetts, the deadline will fall on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 due to Patriots Day.
If you miss the tax deadline you can request an extension. But I’d advise you to do everything in your power NOT to miss the deadline. Just get this tax stuff out the way to avoid extra hassle, fees and delays.
Filing When You Don’t Have To
Filing even when you don’t have to is not a bad idea. It could turn out to be very beneficial for you! If you’ve had any taxes taken out of your paycheck, it is recommended that you file anyway – because you may be able to get a return or credit (especially if you had taxes taken out of your pay and your income fell below the amount on the above chart “2015 Tax Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers”. So think twice coz you definitely don’t want to leave money on the table now do you?…didn’t think so.
The IRS puts it like this: “Refund. Even if you do not have to file a tax return, you should file to get a refund if box 2 shows federal income tax withheld or if you can take the earned income credit…” See this W2 example and also scroll down past the form for even more details. If you don’t take time to enlighten yourself about this tax stuff, Uncle Sam definitely won’t chase you down to give you your money. And they make that very clear in their own words.
Free Vs. Paid Tax Assistance
If you just can’t afford to hire a Tax professional to work on your behalf, there are a few places you may be able to get them done absolutely free. You can check your local government offices or do a “free tax” search online. However, I don’t trust or recommend them.
Completely free tax routes should be last resort in my opinion. It’s like getting a Public Defender to defend you in a legal case. Who do you think will work harder for YOU: A Free Public Defender hired by the State/Government — Or Your Own Personal Attorney hired by YOU to work specifically in your best interest?…nuff said.
See, it’s the same with taxes. Keep in mind: The Government is not in the business of giving money away. They want to keep every penny they possibly can ~ You Can Bank On That!
I’d much rather file through an independent tax service like TurboTax (which is what I personally use) rather than trusting some government program. But hey that’s just me!
There’s several other reputable tax software programs around; TaxAct is another popular one. Just choose a program that you feel most comfortable with. Also, the great thing is that most of the top tax software programs do offer a free federal edition for simple tax returns.
Alternatively, if you’d rather sit face-to-face with someone to discuss your taxes, then hire yourself and accountant or certified tax professional. Whatever.. just Get Some Help! This tax stuff is just too complex and changes too often to try going it alone. One small detail can save you significant money in taxes – or milk you dry in taxes.
Final Word From Me…
Ok now move your head a little closer to the screen and listen v e r r r y closely, I’m only going to say this once!
THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT REFUND ANY MONEY OWED TO YOU IF YOU DO NOT FILE TAXES. THEY WILL NOT TELL YOU. THEY WILL JUST KEEP YOUR MONEY. THEY ARE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF PAYING OUT MONEY VOLUNTARILY.
THERE ARE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN UNCLAIMED MONEY SITTING INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT BANK VAULT RIGHT NOW AS WE SPEAK — COLLECTING BIG FAT INTEREST FOR THEM. YOU MUST CLAIM YOUR MONEY TO GET IT. IF YOU DON’T, THEN THEY CONSIDER IT FAIR GAME TO KEEP IT.
DON’T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE — DON’T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE. And did I Say → DO NOT LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE!!!
Ok there!… and I meant to Yell. Are your ears buzzing?… GOOD:) Now at least I know these words will ring through your thick skull every time you think the thought “oh I don’t need to file taxes”. Now at least when you think about how much money do you have to make to file taxes, you’ll think twice … because now you know you just might have money waiting for you!