13 Feb Do You Need to File a Tax Return? Getting this wrong can cost you
|One of the more common tax questions is whether you need to file a tax return this year. The answer is: It all depends. Here are some quick tips to help you determine your answer.
If your gross income is less than the sum of your standard deduction plus the amount of your personal exemption(s) you usually do NOT need to file a tax return. This is because both of these deductions effectively eliminate any taxable income. The amounts for 2015 are:
Married filing joint: $20,600 ($21,850 if one is 65 or older; $23,100 if both are 65 or older)
Head of household: $13,250 ($14,800 if age 65 or older)
Unmarried (single): 10,300 ($11,850 if age 65 or older)
Over age 65
As noted above, if you or your spouse are over the age of 65 the income required to file a tax return goes up by $1,250 (married) to $1,550 (single/Head of Household) for each of you that meets the age threshold.
Like most tax laws, there are exceptions to the income limits mentioned above. Here are some of the more common situations where filing a tax return may make sense.