Question

I have a question related to self employed tax filing when there is no income to report. I started a business, but it didn't make money. I only lived off of savings, child support, credit cards, and some stock I sold. When I file taxes, how do I report that?

Answer

When filing, you’re required to file only if your income is a certain amount or more. The filing requirement only applies if your taxable gross income was at least:

  • Income requirement, Single — $10,300 if under age 65, or 11950 if age 65 or older
  • Married filing return jointly:
    • 20800 if both spouses filing taxes are under age 65
    • 22050 if one spouse is under age 65 and one is age 65 or older
    • 23300 if both spouses are age 65 or older
  • Married filing separately — 4050 for all ages
  • Head of household — 13400 if under age 65, or 14950 if age 65 or older
  • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing return — 16750 if under age 65, or 18000 if age 65 or older

These are the general file return guidelines. There could be other reasons you must file besides income. For instance, your net earnings from self-employment might be more than 400. If so, you’re required to file a return to properly account for your self-employment taxes.

If you received an advanced premium credit for marketplace health insurance bought for you, your spouse or a dependent, you must file a return to verify that the correct amount was received based on your actual income for 2017.

Also, you might need to file because you received Forms 1099-MISC or 1099-B showing income that led the IRS to believe that you might owe taxes. You should file a return to show that the taxes aren’t due or that they’re due in a lesser amount.

Even if you aren’t required to file, you might want to file to:

  • Request a refund of any tax withheld
  • Report a net operating loss that you can carry back to previous years — and perhaps generate a refund
  • Report a net capital loss you can carry over to future years

 

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