How much do you have to make to file taxes? Minimum income to file taxes
At a glance
The minimum income amount depends on your filing status and age. In 2023, for example, the minimum for Single filing status if under age 65 is $13,850. If your income is below that threshold, you generally do not need to file a federal tax return.
At tax time, not everyone needs to file a tax return before Tax Day in the United States. Generally speaking, you won’t have to file a federal tax return if your total income for the year doesn’t meet certain thresholds.
The example above shows the gross income threshold for this tax year for a person using the Single filing status.
Review the full list below for other filing statuses and ages to determine if you’ll have a filing requirement this tax season.
Minimum income to file taxes
If you’re wondering, “How much do I have to make to file taxes?” — look no further. When it comes to filing, the following taxable income thresholds determine whether you should file a tax return:
- Single filing status:
- $13,850 if under age 65
- $15,700 if age 65 or older
- Married Filing Jointly:
- $27,700 if both spouses are under age 65
- $29,200 if one spouse is under age 65 and one is age 65 or older
- $30,700 if both spouses are age 65 or older
- Married Filing Separately — $5 for all ages
- Head of Household:
- $20,800 if under age 65
- $22,650 if age 65 or older
- Qualifying Surviving Spouse with dependent child:
- $27,700 if under age 65
- $29,200 if age 65 or older
Related: Skipping tax preparation and filing can have consequences. What happens if you don’t file taxes when you owe.
Do I need to file taxes? Maybe not, but here’s why you should
Although your income may be below the minimum income threshold set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as shown above — meaning you don’t have to file a tax return — there may be times when filing taxes is a smart move.
- Refund of withheld income taxes – If you received pay during the year and had income tax withheld, you may want to file a return to obtain a refund of the amount withheld.
- Earned Income Tax Credit – This benefit is a refundable tax 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 Earned Income Credit of $600 to $7,430. Note: You don’t need to have children to be eligible.
- You can also claim valuable tax credits like the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Premium Tax Credit.
Related: What happens if you don’t file taxes when you owe.
Taxes and Social Security: Do I have to file taxes if my only income is Social Security?
If your only income is Social Security, your benefits are generally not taxable, and you probably do not need to file an income tax return.
Do I have to file taxes? Other considerations
The question may not be about how much income to file taxes. It could be related to your other financial activity. You might also be required to file for other reasons, like if you:
- Are self-employed and have net self-employment income of $400 or more. You may have received a 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC form reporting compensation.
- Bought health insurance from a state or federal marketplace.
- Owe Alternative Minimum Tax or recapture taxes.
- Made money from a religious organization.
- Can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, separate filing thresholds apply. Please see IRS Publication 501 for additional information on tax preparation guidelines and parameters.
- Owe uncollected Social Security, Railroad Retirement tax, or Medicare to your employer or on a group-term life insurance.
Get help filing your taxes
Remember, it’s essential to meet your tax obligations, but if you’re unsure of how to go about filing taxes, help with tax preparation is available.
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