how much money do you have to make to file taxes

How Much Money Do You Have to Make to File Taxes in 2020

Disclaimer – We are not lawyers or tax professionals and we are not giving legal or tax advice. These are merely some options and information about taxes. Consult an attorney or tax professional in your area to determine all your options.

Tax season arrives every year. If you don’t make a lot of money, you may not know whether or not you need to file your federal income taxes. If you are asking “How much money do I need to make to file taxes?” You are in the right place for a quick tutorial. Let’s take a quick look at your minimum income needed to file taxes and whether or not you should file taxes, even if you are below the legal threshold. 

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When Do You Have to File Taxes every year?

Your filing status (single, married, filing jointly, etc) will determine your legal limits to file taxes. Remember that gross means before FICA and other taxes are taken out. 

  • Single
    • Under 65, the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $12,200
    • Over 65,  the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $13,850
  • Married, filing jointly
    • Both spouses under 65, the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $24,400
    • Both spouses over 65, the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $27,000
    • One spouse under 65, one spouse over 65, the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $25,700
  • Married, filing separately
    • The minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $5, regardless of age
  • Qualifying widow or widower
    • Your spouse must have died within the tax year and have a dependent child
    • Under 65, the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $24,400
    • Over 65,  the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $25,700
  • Head of Household
    • Must qualify under IRS regulations
    • Under 65, the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $18,350
    • Over 65,  the minimum gross income requiring a tax return is $22,000

Dependants, including Students May Need to File Income Taxes

If you are claimed as a dependant by another tax filer, you may still need to file your own tax return, depending on your gross earned income and your passive income. Earned income is money that you work for. Passive income includes earnings not derived from work, such as rental income. This is a very complicated filing, so consult a tax professional if you fall into this category.

Single Dependant

  • Under age 65 and Not blind
    • More than $1100 in unearned income, or
    • More than $12,000 in earned income, or
    • Gross income was either $1100 or earned income was up to $11,850 plus $350
  • Over age 65 OR blind 
    • More than $2,750 in unearned income, or
    • More than $13,850 in earned income, or
    • Gross income was either $2,750 or earned income was up to $11,850 plus $2,000
  • Over age 65 AND blind 
    • More than $4,400 in unearned income, or
    • More than $15,500 in earned income, or
    • Gross income was either $4,400 or earned income was up to $11,850 plus $3,650

Married Dependant

  • Under age 65 AND not blind
    • More than $1100 in unearned income, or
    • More than $12,200 in earned income, or
    • Gross income was either al least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions, or
    • Gross income was either $1,100 or earned income was up to $11,850 plus $350
  • Over age 65 OR blind 
    • More than $2,400 in unearned income, or
    • More than $13,500 in earned income, or
    • Gross income was either al least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions, or
    • Gross income was either $2,400 or earned income was up to $11,850 plus $1,650
  • Over age 65 AND blind 
    • More than $3,700  in unearned income, or
    • More than $14,800 in earned income, or
    • Gross income was either al least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions, or
    • Gross income was either $3,700 or earned income was up to $11,850 plus $2,950

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If you are under 19, your parent or guardian can claim you as a dependant. If you are a student, your parents can claim you until age 24. If you fall into any of these categories, your tax status depends on which category and how much you make. 

Students making less than the legal minimum may want to consider filing a tax return anyway. There are deductions for higher education expenses and education tax credits including the American Opportunity Credit. 

Earned Income Tax Credit

If you fall into certain categories, you may be eligible to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. The IRS website contains a EITC Assistant to help you learn if you are eligible. If you have children, make sure you look into the EITC and then file if you are. 

How To File Taxes

Filing taxes can be very confusing and very expensive. If your taxes are fairly simple, look into VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistant program. These IRS trained volunteers will help you file your taxes for free. You can find locations by following this link.

If you are in a situation where you are in such debt that you are having trouble making minimum payments on your bills and tax season is just another nightmare, consider giving Pacific Debt, Inc a call.

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Once you’ve completed our debt settlement program, your financial situation should start to improve. You’ll then be able to take the money you once had to pay towards your debt, and be able to use it for other purposes like saving, investing, retirement, etc.Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Council and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.

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