How much do you have to make to file taxes — What is the minimum income to file taxes?


The minimum income amount depends on your filing status and age. In 2017, for example, the minimum for single filing status if under age 65 is $10,400.  If your income is below that threshold, you generally do not need to file a federal tax return. Review the full list below for other filing statuses and ages.

    • Single filing status:
      • $10,400 if under age 65
      • $11,950 if age 65 or older
    • Married filing jointly:
      • $20,800 if both spouses under age 65
      • $22,050 if one spouse under age 65 and one age 65 or older
      • $23,300 if both spouses age 65 or older
    • Married filing separately — $4,050 for all ages
    • Head of household:
      • $13,400 if under age 65
      • $14,950 if age 65 or older
    • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child:
      • $16,750 if under age 65
      • $18,000 if age 65 or older

You might also be required to file for other reasons, such as if you’re self-employed or paid on a 1099-MISC form, or bought health insurance from a state or federal marketplace. If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, separate filing thresholds apply. Please see IRS Publication 501 for additional information.

Do I Have to File Taxes? — Additional Considerations

Although your income may be below the minimum income to file taxes as shown above, you may not have to file taxes, but there may be times when you want to file a return.

  • Refund of withheld income taxes – If you received pay during the year and had income tax withheld, you may want file a return to obtain a refund of the amount withheld.
  • Earned income tax credit – This benefit is a refundable credit, meaning even if you do not owe taxes, you can still get a refund. Depending on your income and the number of children you have, lower-income workers may be eligible for an EITC of $510 to $6,318. Note: You do not need to have children to be eligible.

If you determine that you do need and want to file your taxes, keep in mind that H&R Block offers free and easy income tax online filing options.


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