How Much Do You Have to Make to File Taxes

September 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Finance

It’s that time of year again. Halloween, Turkey Day, and Christmas have reappeared and tax season is upon us. Financially speaking, this is one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year for many Americans. There are deductions to consider, write-offs and expenses to keep track of, and organizing to do of the hoards of receipts you’ve collected over the year. A lot of people will ask “how much do you have to make to file taxes?” in order to try to get out of going through all of this trouble.

Tax season is a time of financial reflection, and while it may not be the most enjoyable things, it is one of the two certainties in life. That is why we have compiled all the information you need to know about a popular tax concern. And that is, how much do you have to make to file taxes? The IRS is scary and Uncle Sam is proactive, so you must be as well. Do not risk making an irreversible financial mistake when you can be empowered and informed. Keep reading to find out just how much do you have to make to file taxes.

Tax Filing Requirements

calculate tax

Image Source:

Before we dive into the exact requirements one has to meet to file their taxes, we’ll give you the short answer. And that is, it depends. This aspect of the US tax system is unique and varies from person to person. The correlation between one’s minimum annual salary and whether an individual has to file taxes is dependent on two things: age and filing status.

So whether you are single, married, the head of a household, or fall under other categories affects the minimum salary requirement needed to file taxes. Keep reading to see what the requirements are for you and to see how much do you have to make to file taxes.

How Much Do You Have to Make to File Taxes?

Below we will go over how much do you have to make to file taxes. Keep in mind that no matter your filing status, age, or whether you qualify as a dependent, if you earn more than $400 in self-employment, then you must file taxes for the year.


woman holding tablet

Image Source:

If you are filing your taxes as a single person, you will probably fall under one of four subcategories, single and dependent under the age of 65, single and dependent over 65 or blind, single and over the age of 65, or single and under the age of 65. So what are the minimum salary requirements?

If you are considered to be single and dependent, according to the IRS, as an unmarried dependent, you must file taxes if your unearned income exceeded $1,050 and if your earned income was greater than $6,350.

If you are considered a single dependent and over 65 or blind and if your unearned income for the year exceeded $2,600 or your earned income exceeded 47,900, the law requires you to file taxes.

When you are considered single and under 65 years old, if you are unmarried and made less than $12,000, you do not have to file taxes for the year. However, if you exceeded that amount or made at least $400 from self-employment, then filing your taxes is a must.

For those who are single and over 65 years old, you are only required to file your taxes if you made more than $13,600 or $400 from self-employment.


mother and child

Image Source:

The minimum annual income required to file taxes is also dependent on age. Individuals who are classified as the head of a household should fall under one of two categories: under the age of 65 or over the age of 65.

If you are a head of household under 65 years of age and you are earning $18,000 or more a year, you are required by law to file your taxes. Those who make salaries below this number do not legally have to file taxes for the year.

If you are 65 years old and the head of a household making $19,600 or less, you do not have to file.

Married Filing Separately: For those who are married and choose to file separately or have a spouse that would like to file separately, no matter your age if you earn more than five dollars for the year, the law requires you to file.



Image Source:

Those who are married and are filing jointly typically fall under one of three categories: both individuals filing are under 65, one mate is over 65, and both partners are over 65 years of age.

If you are married, are considering filling together, and you are both under 65, then the maximum amount you can make as a household without having to file taxes is $24,000.

If one spouse is over the age of 65, then if your household earned more than $25,300, you must file taxes according to the law.

If you and your partner are over the age of 65, the maximum amount you can earn jointly without having to file taxes is $26,600.



Image Source:

Widows with dependent children filing should be in one of two categories depending on their age: widows with dependents under 65 years old or widows with dependents over 65 years old.

If you have dependent children, and you are a widow who is under 65, you do not have to file your taxes if you earn less than $24,000 for the year.

If you earn $25,300 as a widow who is over the age of 65 with dependents, then you must file your taxes according to the law.

Is There a Need for Filing Requirements?


Image Source:

As mentioned before, the tax requirements vary from person to person. These requirements are meant to take into consideration the unique situations and the financial environments associated with those varying circumstances lawfully.

Filing your Taxes

filling tax

Image Source:

In 2019, tax day is April 15th, so get ready. Even if you are not legally required to file, you may still want to do so as you may be entitled to a refund no matter how little you think you earned. You should especially file if you qualify for certain tax breaks, like paying for higher education or raising kids. For example, the American Opportunity Tax Credit can give you up to $2,500 in a tax break if you paid for educational expenses like books, tuition, and similar course materials either for yourself or for a dependent.

Here are some other reasons you may need to file even if your salary is below the thresholds listed above:

  • You received unemployment income
  • You had net self-employment income of more than $400
  • You may owe Alternative Minimum Tax
  • You may owe household employment taxes
  • You owe taxes on a health savings account or retirement plan
  • You owe Medicare or Social Security taxes on unreported tip income
  • You received allocations from Health Savings Account or an MSA
  • You accepted an advance payment on Premium Tax Credit.
  • You earned either $108.28 or more from a church-controlled organization or tax-exempt church

Electronic filing is increasingly popular and is regarded as one of the fastest and safest ways to file and receive your refund.


accounting tax

Image Source:

Tax day is at large and will officially be upon us on April 15, 2019. So, how much do you have to make to file taxes? The short answer is that it depends.

Anyone, regardless of filing status, dependence, or age, who makes over $400 in self-employment must file their taxes according to the law. Singles under 65 earning less than $12,000 and singles over 65 earning less than $13,600 do not have to file if they are not inclined to do so.

According to the IRS, a single dependent must file taxes if their unearned income exceeded $1,050 and if their earned annual income was greater than $6,350. In contrast, single dependents over 65 must file if they earned more than $12,000 annually. If you are head of a household who is under 65 and earn $18,000 or more, you are required by law to file your taxes. Those over the age of 65 making $19,600 or less you do not have to file.

For those who are married and choose to file separately or have a spouse that would like to file separately, no matter your age, if you earn more than $5 for the year, the law requires both partners to file. Widows under 65 with dependent children do not have to file if they make less than $24,000, and widows over 65 do not have to file if they make less than $25,300.

Finally, married couples who are filling together who are under 65 can make up to $24,000 a year as a household without having to file taxes. Couples in which only one partner is over 65 must file taxes if their annual income exceeds $25,300. Partners who are both over 65 may choose to not file if their joint income is less than $26,600.

No matter your filing status or income, you may benefit from filing your taxes even if you aren’t required to do so by law. Refunds may await you if you paid for educational expenses, have a dependent child, etc. Taxes are intense, and filing them can be a bit of a hassle. We hope this article made this certainty of life a little less daunting and answered the popular question “how much do you have to make to file taxes?” Be prepared; April 15th, 2019 will be here soon.

How to File Taxes: Complete Guide

September 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Debt, Resources

Filing Taxes

Knowing how the tax process works can help to reduce any stress that a person may be under to get their taxes filed. Learning more about this process also provides more information for the user during the process. What they once did not know, they may know after gathering this information. Your first or even second time doing anything can seem like a challenge. This is especially true if you’re worried about not filing something right. Learning how to file taxes is not as complicated as it seems.

You want to know what information and documents you need, how long it will take if you’re filing the right forms, and if there are ramifications should you forget to add or do something on the forms. All of these concerns will come piling up during the tax filing process. It is important that you take it step by step. Each question will be answered, and you will feel more confident as time moves forward. Learn what makes up a tax return and then use that to your advantage when going through each part and filling in the information.

What Does It Mean to File Taxes?

Time For Taxes

You are not alone. Many people do not know how to file taxes. They either hire someone to do this job for them, or they have to learn just like you are now. Filing taxes means you have to submit papers to the government letting them know how much you have made throughout the year. Everyone that is a resident and a citizen of the United States that works must file their taxes every year. Taxes are then paid to the government to help with specific expenses that the government sees fit during that year.

Is There a Need to File Taxes?

Insert Image
file tax

Some individuals may not have to file taxes for that year. There is a specialized tool from the IRS that can figure out if you are required to pay taxes depending on your status, how much you have made, and other factors. Almost everyone must file taxes within the United States though as long as they are making money. Some citizens that are living in other countries may have to still pay taxes to the United States if they are still listed as a citizen with this country. However, this is something that has to be worked out with the IRS offices.

How to File Taxes the Right Way

How to File Taxes the Right Way

There is a process that a person has to undergo to file their taxes. Every tax form, regardless of which you have to fill out, has specific steps and instructions that have to be followed. Know the steps ahead of time so you are prepared when tax time comes, and you need to fill out the form and provide the necessary documentation requested of you. Here are the steps required to fill out a simple tax form.


Tips for filing taxes

It is important to know what to have on hand before you start filing your tax returns. Knowing things like life changes, such as a marriage, birth, or change in a job, is also ideal. It can make the process go faster. You will also need to have access to these key specific items:

  • Your social security number
  • The social security number of your dependents 
  • W-2’s or 1099 income 
  • 1095 which is used for health insurance verification 
  • Consider all of your sources of income – through a job, retirement, savings, pension, investments, etc. 
  • Any donation forms 
  • Child care expense receipts 
  • Education expenses 
  • Information regarding taxes paid on your mortgage


Insert Image
e filing

There are a few different ways to file your taxes depending on how you feel the most comfortable. Filing your taxes online can be done through an online e-filing program. These programs will walk you through the entire process and have areas where you can look up your questions to get answers. This is very helpful for those learning how to file taxes on their own.

Another option is to file the taxes through the mail. While this takes longer to have them reach the IRS, it also provides them with a way to fill out everything on paper. Those that like to leave a paper trail and want to submit all of their paper documentation would use this option. It is not the most popular, but it is definitely an option.

Those that do not know how to file taxes sometimes use the help of a tax professional. These professionals walk the person through what they are doing on their taxes, ask questions, and do the process for them. They can find hidden deductions, look for ways to save on taxes, and even try to get the person money back for that tax year. They are knowledgeable about the tax process, the laws, procedures, and other specifics so that those looking for some help when learning how to file taxes can speak with these professionals for more information about the process.

Filing the Tax Return

Filing the Tax Return

Follow these steps to file your tax return once you know how to file taxes. You have gathered the above, chose the right method, and are ready to file. Now is the time to do so with the help of the specific method you went with.

  1. 1
    Gather all of your paperwork, documentation, and other information you need. These are stated above. Any forms regarding taxes, as well as income, should be brought over when doing your taxes.
  2. 2
    Determine your filing status. Are you filing head of household, single, married? You also want to determine how much you made this past year as it determines which form you will fill out to file your taxes. Those that make under $66,000 per year are put into one bracket, while those over this amount are in another. Self-employed individuals have to pay a specific tax bracket. E-filing services will automatically decide which filing bracket you need when you answer simple questions for them at the beginning of the process.
  3. 3
    Calculate all of your taxes and credits by filling in the information requested on the forms. This is usually regarding the dependants you have, the amount you made, any extra income, etc. There are credits given to those that have given to charity, have children, education expenses, and other related deductions.
  4. 4
    Claim all of your dependents and exemptions on the form. It is important to know who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return. Children that you are legally responsible for and provide over half of their support are generally thought of as your dependents.
  5. 5
    Find out if you pay in taxes quarterly, have to pay one lump sum, or if you will get money back. This is all determined based on several factors. Going through the entire process will give you more information. Mailing in your payments, paying online or through the phone are all options for those that owe money to the IRS. For payments coming back to the person that filed, checks and direct deposits into bank accounts can be made.
  6. 6
    File your taxes by submitting them electronically or through the mail. This is usually done electronically if you have hired someone to go through your taxes for you.

The process is generally easy with the number of resources available to those learning how to file taxes. Working with a professional also has helped many people file their taxes. It is important that the taxes are filed within the time limit that the government sets. Those that file and owe money have to pay by April 15 while others have to submit their applications and extensions by the same day. This date may change if the 15th falls on a holiday or a weekend, which means it can be the 16th,17th, or even 18th on some years. It is important to think about filing taxes as soon as possible. Gathering information on how to file taxes can help you get prepared for the tax time to come.


tax service

Alternatively, those that wish to save time and hassle can hire a tax service. This service prepares the taxes for you when you give them your financial documentation. They go over all the specifics so you can easily submit the information while also providing the necessary tax payments for being a citizen with the country. If there are further questions regarding filing, if you are filing yourself, it is important to speak with either the IRS or a tax professional that can provide the help required. Knowing how to file taxes the right way can allow you to feel more confident in the years to come when you have to continue to file taxes.

Please keep in mind that if you have further questions regarding the process, look into the IRS website for FAQs and other commonly featured articles. They use this as a guide to help those learning how to file their own taxes have all the information they need.