You may not have to file a federal income tax return if your income is below a certain amount. You are required to file a federal income tax return if your income is above a certain level.

That level varies depending on your filing status, your age and the type of income you’re filing.


If you aren’t sure of your filing status, you may find the online tool to help you determine by answering a few questions.

Determine your filing status

The gross revenue in the table is defined as all income you received in the form of money, goods, property, and services that isn’t exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it).

The gross revenue doesn’t include any social security benefits unless

(a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time in the tax year.

(b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly).

Gross income includes gains, but not losses. In figuring gross income, don’t reduce your income by any losses. There’re lines in the tax forms where you can fill in any losses.

Others Who Need to File

You will still need to file a tax return if any of the following apply:

  • You owe any taxes.
  • You received a distribution from a health savings account, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA.
  • You had at least $400 in self-employment income.
  • You earned $108.28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • You received an advance payment of the Premium Tax Credit for health insurance bought from a health insurance marketplace. You should receive Form 1095-A with the amount of the advance payments.
  • Advance payments of the health coverage tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent. You should receive Form 1099-H with the amount of the advance payments.

Easy tools

The IRS has provided an easy tool so you will be able to know if you need to file for tax return. All you need is basic information that includes:

  • Filing status.
  • Federal income tax withheld.
  • Basic information to help you determine your gross income.

You can find the tool here.

Do I need to file a tax return?

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