Not everyone is required to file taxes, but most Americans are and likely will file taxes.
Of the 176.2 million individuals and married couples who could file a tax return in 2020, about 144.5 million of them filed a tax return, according to nonpartisan Washington think tank Tax Policy Center. Whether you need to file your taxes depends mostly on your income, filing status, and age. In special situations, you may have to file a tax return regardless of your income, though. For example, if you have net earnings of at least $400 from self-employment, you’re required to file taxes.
Having said that, even if you’re not required to file a tax return, you may want to file to claim tax credits and overpayments that could result in money being returned to you.
This may sound confusing, but we’ll explain it all here so you can stay within the law or even reap some benefits for putting in a little unrequired work.
Who is legally required to file a tax return?
To determine if you’re one of the millions who have to file a return, start with your gross income, which is total income before taxes and adjustments, age and filing status. Filing status is if you’re single or married filing jointly or separately, head of household, or a widow(er).
Depending on your age and filing status, the IRS has minimum income thresholds that determine whether you must file a tax…