- Days left
Determining whether or not you must file a federal tax return is pretty simple. It is usually based upon how much money you made, and whether you were over or under age 65. For those under age 65, single filers whose gross income was $8,750 or more must file a tax return, and married filing jointly filers whose gross income was $17,500 or more must file.

What is gross income? Basically all the money you made during the year, including wages, self-employment income, interest income, dividend income, and the like. Social security benefits are generally not included in gross income when determining whether or not you have to file.

There are also some specific situations in which you must file a tax return, even if you do not meet the gross income test above. If you were self-employed and had net income of $400 or more, you must file. You also must file if you received an advance earned income credit payments from your employer throughout 2007. And you must file if you owe taxes on things like money from retirement accounts or recapture of credits.

See the instructions for IRS Form 1040 for more details on whether or not you need to file. Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you still should do so if you have a refund to claim. You will not get your refund unless you actually file a tax return.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit scores matter -- learn how to improve your score.

View Course »

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

What are 1095 Tax Forms for Health Care?

The Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, introduced three new tax forms relevant to individuals, employers and health insurance providers. They are forms 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C. These forms help determine if you need to comply with the new shared responsibility payment, the fee you might have to pay if you don't have health insurance. For individuals who bought insurance through the health care marketplace, this information will help to determine whether you are able to receive an additional premium tax credit or have to pay some back.

A Tax Guide for Solopreneurs: Self-Employed Tax Tips

Flying solo can be the ultimate business adventure. When you run your own business and you're the only employee, you truly hold all the cards and earn the freedom to achieve your ideal work-life balance. Working for yourself also brings tax advantages not available to those who work for others. It's important to understand the tax rules that apply to the self-employed to profit the most from these.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum