Do you have to file taxes? Some people who may not have made a lot of money during the prior year may wonder if they have to file taxes at all. They may have heard that if you do not make a certain amount, you are not obligated to file or pay taxes. This is true, but the question remains, how much money do you have to make in order to be legally obligated to file taxes? As with many things involving taxes, it depends on several factors.
How Much Money Do You Have to Make to File Taxes: Gross Income
The first idea you need to become familiar with to know if you need to file taxes is the term gross income. Gross income refers to all of the income you received in that year that is not tax-exempt. This includes any money, goods or services, or property you received, even from outside the United States. Dont just consider your paycheck when trying to decide whether or not you have to file. All non tax-exempt income must be included.
Factors Affecting How Much Money You Have to Make to File Taxes-Age
There are two main factors governing how much money you have to make to file taxes. The first is age. 65 is the magic number. If you are over 65 you can make more money and still be exempt. You are considered to be over 65 if your 65th birthday falls anywhere in the calendar year for which the taxes are being filed.
Factors Affecting How Much Money You Have to Make to File Taxes-Marital Status
The other big factor determining how much income means filing taxes is marital status. Your filing status will be more than just married or single. You can be single, married filing jointly or married filing separately. You can also be filing as the Head of Household or as a qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child. Each of these brings with it different limitations on how much you can make before you need to file taxes.
2008 Numbers-How Much Do You Have to Make?
For the 2008 tax year, if you were single and under 65, you were required to file if you made more than $8949. If you were over 65, you could make up to $10,299 before having to file. Anyone married filing separately must file if they made at least $3500, which is why it often pays to file jointly. For joint filers under 65, the amount requiring filing was $17,900. If one spouse was over 65, it was $18,950, and if both filers were over 65 it jumped to $20,000. A Head of Household under 65 who made at least $11,500 had to file and one over 65 had to make at least $12,850 to meet the filing requirement. For qualifying widows and widowers with a dependent child, those under 65 had to make at least $14,400 before being required to file, and those over 65 had to make at least $15,450.
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