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Who Doesn't Have to File Income Taxes?

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. | Last updated on

With tax season upon us, you might be wondering who doesn't have to file federal income taxes.

Whether or not a taxpayer is required to file income taxes depends on your age, filing status, and gross income. It doesn't matter if you're unemployed; what matters is if your income (from all sources) is above a certain amount as specified by your age and filing status (i.e., married, single, etc.).

So who must file? And is it a good idea to file taxes, even if you aren't required to?

Gross Income Thresholds for Filing Taxes

Many people assume that if they earned any amount of income last year, then they're required to file a tax return. However, depending on your gross income, you might not have to file at all.

If your income in 2013 fell below a certain threshold amount, then you likely don't need to file taxes. Here are some examples of income thresholds for different types of people:

  • Single adults under the age of 65 who earned less than $9,750 in 2013.
  • Married couples under 65, filing jointly, who earned less than $19,500 in 2013.
  • Dependent children whose gross income was less than $6,100 in 2013.

Non-citizens aren't totally exempt from filing income taxes either. In fact, nonresident aliens also have to file income taxes if they were involved in trade or business in the United States in the past year. However, there are several exemptions the IRS allows, like when the sole source of U.S. income is less than the personal exemption or if the noncitizen is a fiduciary for a nonresident alien estate or trust.

Should You File Even If You Don't Have To?

Even if you aren't required to file federal income taxes, it may be beneficial to do so. The IRS may still issue tax breaks or credits even if your income is below the required filing level. For example, you may be entitled to a refund for excess holdings or for the earned income tax credit, according to Forbes.

For more information on who doesn't have to file income taxes, the IRS has a click-through guide to help you. If you're still stuck, consider contacting a local tax attorney for more personal guidance.

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