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

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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.

SINGLE

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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.

HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD

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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.

MARRIED

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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.

WIDOW

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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?

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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

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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.

Conclusion

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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.

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