Saturday, March 2, 2019

What is the minimum income to file taxes?

Not all Americans need to file a federal tax return. Those who don't earn enough in income aren't required to by law.

Whether you make the cut depends on your filing status and age.

Single filers must file a return if they earn at least:

·       $12,000 if under 65

·       $13,600 if 65 or older

Married filing jointly filers must file a return if they earn at least:

·       $24,000 if both spouses are under 65

·       $25,300 if one spouse is under 65 and one is 65 or older

·       $26,600 if both spouses are 65 or older

Married filing separately filers must file a return if they earn at least:

·       $5 for all ages

Calculator     • Invented by: Blaise Pascal     • Age when invented: 18     • Invented in: 1642     Blaise Pascal was a noted French mathematician, physicist, and theologian, and he also is credited with inventing what is considered an early calculator. Pascal created the device to help his father, who was a tax collector, figure out taxes more easily. His invention was called the Pascaline, which operated with a numerical wheel calculator that featured movable dials, with each dial representing a digit. Pascal continued to make improvements on the device and made dozens of versions of the machine. (Photo: MangoStar_Studio / iStock)

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Head of household filers must file a return if they earn at least:

·       $18,000 if under 65

·       $19,600 if 65 or older

Qualifying widow or widower with dependent child must file a return if they earn at least:

·       $24,000 if under 65

·       $25,300 if 65 or older

You also may be required to file a federal return if you're self-employed, were paid on a 1099-MISC form or purchased health insurance from a state or federal marketplace.

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The IRS provides an online tool to help you determine if you're required to file a 2018 federal tax return.

Why you should file anyway

Even if you aren't required to file a tax return because your income doesn't meet the minimum thresholds, you may want to do so anyway. That's because you may be eligible for a refundable credit.

One of the most missed-out refundable credits is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), designed to provide relief for low- and moderate-income taxpayers. For 2018, the credit can be worth up to  up to $6,431.

Another refundable credit is the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). This year, you can receive a refund that equals 15 percent of your earnings above $2,500, up to $1,400.

How to file

Most taxpayers have until Monday, April 15 to file their 2018 taxes. If you have a simple return – where you take the standard deduction, have W-2 income, claim the EITC or child tax credit and have limited interest and dividend income – then you likely qualify for a free simple federal tax return.

Most major tax preparers, such as TurboTax and H&R Block, offer a free-file service.


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