If you have never filed taxes before, you might be asking yourself “do I need to file taxes?” You might also be wondering who has to file taxes. Filing taxes can be a confusing and intimidating process, especially for those who are new to it. It can be hard to know who actually needs to file taxes, and when it is necessary to do so. In this blog post, we will answer the question of who needs to file taxes, as well as provide some helpful advice and resources to make the filing process easier.

Types of Income That Are Taxed

When filing your return, it’s important to know which types of income are taxable and needs to be reported on a federal or state income tax return. Generally, most types of income you earn during the tax year must be reported on your tax return, such as employment income, Social Security benefits, income from rental property, interest and dividends, alimony payments, capital gains, business income, and other types of income. You must also report any refundable tax credits, such as the child tax credit and premium tax credits. 

It is important to note that even if your employer withholds taxes from your paycheck, you may still need to file a federal and/or state tax return. If you qualify for certain deductions and credits, you may receive a refundable tax refund after filing your return. For example, if you do not itemize your deductions, you will receive a standard deduction that can help reduce your taxable income. Additionally, if your employer withheld more taxes than you owed during the tax year, then you are likely to get a tax refund when you file your return.

Filing Requirements Based on Age

When filing your taxes, age is an important factor to consider in determining what you need to do and when. Generally, if you’re under 65, you must file a federal tax return if your gross income is at least the amount of the standard deduction for your filing status. Additionally, if you are younger than 65 and have any type of employment income, you are required to file a tax return regardless of the amount of taxable income you make.

For those aged 65 or older, the same rules apply with one exception – seniors may choose to file a tax return even if their gross income is below the standard deduction amount. This could potentially result in a larger tax refund than if no taxes were paid at all.

Those who are 16 years old or older may be able to file a tax return to get a refund of taxes withheld from their pay or to claim certain refundable tax credits. You should always check with your employer to make sure you’re reporting to them correctly and that your withholdings are correct. If you’re owed a refund, it’s important to file your income tax return before the end of the tax year (usually sometime in mid-April) to ensure you get your refund in a timely manner. 

In some cases, depending on your age, filing a tax return may also be necessary to claim child tax credits, premium tax credits, or social security benefits. Certain states also require taxpayers to file state returns in order to receive any applicable refunds or credits. 

Regardless of your age, it’s important to review the filing requirements for your situation and make sure you meet all applicable criteria before filing your return. Filing taxes can be complicated and understanding the requirements based on age is just one part of this process.

Filing Requirements Based on Income

When it comes to filing taxes, the amount of taxable income you earned during the year affects whether you need to file a federal return and the filing status you use. Generally, individuals with a gross income that is more than the standard deduction plus one personal exemption for their filing status must file a federal tax return.

The types of income that are taxed include wages from employment, taxable interest and dividends, alimony, self-employment income, capital gains, pension, and annuity distributions, rental income, unemployment income, and other sources of income such as Social Security benefits and gambling winnings. In order to determine if you must file a tax return, you must add up all your taxable income and subtract any refundable tax credits (such as the child tax credit or premium tax credit) and any taxes that were withheld from your paychecks by your employer throughout the year. If your total taxable income after subtracting these credits and withholdings is greater than the standard deduction for your filing status, then you must file a return. 

If you are required to file a federal return, you may also be required to file a state return. The rules for determining if you must file a state return vary by state, so it’s important to check with your state government regarding their filing requirements.

When you do file your taxes, make sure to report all of your income to your employer so they can accurately calculate the tax withholding amount for each paycheck. If you fail to report your income accurately, you could face an unexpected bill at tax time or even receive a smaller refund than you were expecting. Additionally, remember that the taxes you pay in one tax year (which typically runs from January 1 to December 31) will affect the amount of your refund or payment due the following year. So be sure to keep records of all taxes paid and refunds received during the year so that you can accurately file your returns each year and get the most out of your tax refund or minimize the amount you owe.

Filing Requirements Based on Filing Status

Your filing status, as reported on your income tax return, determines the amount of your standard deduction, the taxes you owe, and any refundable tax credits you can receive. It’s important to accurately report your filing status when filing your return. The following are the five most common filing statuses used for federal income tax returns: 

  • Single: If you are unmarried and not legally separated, you should file as single. 
  • Married Filing Jointly: You may file a joint return with your spouse if you are married or legally separated. Both spouses must agree to report their gross income, deductions, and other tax information together. 
  • Married Filing Separately: If you and your spouse choose to file separately, you will each report only your own income and deductions on separate returns. 
  • Head of Household: To be eligible for this filing status, you must be unmarried or considered unmarried, have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for yourself and a qualifying person for more than half the year, and not be a dependent of another taxpayer. 
  • Qualifying Widow/Widower with Dependent Child: To qualify for this filing status, the deceased spouse must have died in the previous two years and you must have a qualifying dependent child living in the home. 

No matter which filing status you choose, it’s important to remember that all income is taxable including employment income, Social Security benefits, and investments. You should also make sure to report any income tax withholding or refundable tax credits such as the child tax credit or premium tax credits. Additionally, be sure to calculate your standard deduction based on your filing status before filing your federal income tax return. Finally, be aware that if you owe taxes or receive a refund, you may need to file state returns as well.
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