It’s Tax-filing season in the US.
The IRS started accepted electronic filing on Jan 17th so there’s never been a better time to ensure you know all the tax rules and laws to make sure you only pay the tax you need to.
If you’re just starting out in the world you may be wondering how much money do you have to earn to file taxes.
It’s an important question, but thankfully it’s easily answered. In short, it’s $9,500 if you’re single.
For the full breakdown here’s the handy table for income earned in 2011.
|Filing Status||Minimum Gross Income (under 65)||Minimum Gross Income (65+)|
|Head of Household||$12,200||$13,650|
|Married Filing Jointly||$19,000||$20,150 (one spouse)
$21,300 (both spouses)
|Married Filing Separately||$3,700||$3,700|
|Widow with Dependent Child||$15,300||$16,450|
Important Tax exceptions and considerations
These figures refer to ‘Gross Income’ – the total money you have earned before taxes.
As a general rule if you receive social security income this is not counted in your threshold. However, if half of your social securities and your other group income is more than $25k (or $32k if married filing jointly) then you do have to file a tax return for 2011.
For more info from the IRS: Are Your Social Security Benefits Taxable?
If you have other income sources like if you are self employed you must file if your 2011 Self employment net earnings are greater than $400.
Why You Should File Regardless of Income
Even if you think you are not required to file a tax return, it might be worth doing so anyway.
It definitely makes sense if you have had any federal withholding or are entitled to tax credits. For example if you qualify for earned income tax credit you may get a tax refund.
And regardless of income you need to file if you have sold your home in 2011 (as detailed in Publication 17)
If you have any other tax questions we’d love to hear from you – you certainly will not be the first or last person to have the same question and by sharing the answers we can help more people only pay the tax they need to. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org