Not everyone is required to file a tax return. Most people are, but for those who aren’t, it may still prove beneficial to do so anyway. If you’re not sure if you have to file a tax return, you should familiarize yourself with the rules before tax season approaches.
Income, age, and filing status all factor into determining whether or not you need to file. More requirements apply to those who are self-employed or considered a dependent of another taxpayer. You will need to cover all bases when deciding whether you’re required to file a return.
You’ll need To File If:
You’ll be required to file a return if your employer withheld federal tax from your salary throughout the year, or you are self-employed and made estimated tax payments each quarter. When you file, you may be entitled to a refund if you overpaid, but the only way to know is to file a return.
Also, if you purchased health care through the Health Insurance Marketplace and opted to use the premium tax credit to lower your monthly costs, you’ll need to reconcile the amount you received. To do so, you’ll have to file a return. You’ll receive Form 1095-A, the Health Insurance Marketplace Statement by the beginning of February. This form will have all the information you need to reconcile the credit you received with the amount you are actually allotted.
If you made less than $53,267 last year may be eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can save you up to $6,242 for 2015. Even if you have no qualifying children, there’s a possibility you can still qualify, but you’ll have to file a return to know.
If you qualify for the Child Tax Credit, but don’t receive the entire credit amount, you may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit. Again, the only way to know if to file a return.
The American Opportunity Credit is one other reason you may want to file a return. Each eligible student enrolled in post-secondary education may receive a credit of up to $2,500. You are able to claim yourself or a dependent, but the student has to be enrolled for an entire academic period for at least half-time. You don’t have to owe any taxes in order to claim the credit, but you will have to file Form 8863, Education Credits with a tax return if you wish to claim it.