Should You Still File A 2020 Return?
File your taxes online each year so you do not have to handle complicated forms. When you file by the Tax Day deadline, you can always eFileIT. For the current year, start and e-file your taxes now or at least by the deadline.
Whether you have to or should file a 2020 Tax Return is answered here. The very basic and general answer is this: as a filing single or married filing separate person, if your 2020 income did not equal or exceed the standard deduction limit of $12,400 and you do not owe any special taxes or have any special tax situations that require you to file, you do not need to file. For the head of household filing status, the income limit would be at or above $18,650 and, for married filing jointly and qualifying widow(er), $24,800.
Important: You can only claim Stimulus 1 and or 2 by filing a 2020 Return.
To File or Not to File?
There are many more factors that either might require you to file or it might be beneficial for you to file. See the Reasons to File a Return example plus a more detailed Minimum Income Tax Return Filing Requirements below. For example, in order for you to take advantage for eligible tax credits you will have to file a tax return; use any of these free tools and tax calculators to help you find out if you do qualify.
The FILEucator tool below gives you your personal answer on whether you have to file a tax return quickly and accurately.
Even if you are not required to file, find reasons below on why you still might want to file. Your filing requirements to prepare and file a 2020 federal income tax return depends on the following factors: Filing Status, Taxable Income, and your Dependency Status.
If you still need to file a Tax Year 2020 Tax Return, you can access the 2020 Federal IRS 1040 Forms here. You can complete previous tax year forms conveniently online here on eFile.com and sign them online electronically before you download, print, and mail them the proper mailing address based on your state residency.
Reasons to File a Return
How much money do I have to make to file taxes?
Let's say a single person without a qualified child(ren) had a total of $7,900 taxable income in 2020 and was born in 1995 or before. Since the standard deduction for a single person in 2020 is $12,400, it's easy to assume not to file a tax return as it would result in a zero tax refund and zero taxes owed. Not so! You can claim the Earned Income Tax Credit - EITC for all eligible ages between 25 and 65, which may be worth $538.
In addition, the taxpayer in question may have one or more qualified dependents or children, regardless of age. With this credit, a tax return would result in a tax refund of $3,584 as anybody born during or before 1995 is eligible for the EITC at certain income levels. To see if you qualify for the EITC, use this free EITCucator. Plus, eligible refundable tax credits might reduce the tax liability and/or increase the tax refund.
Over 65 with Social Security Income? Find tax benefits and information around your Social Security.
Not sure if you need to file a return as a student? If you work during school and receive income, even if it isn't a lot, it may be beneficial if you file a return and report your income. Report the information from a Form W-2 received from working a part-time job or from a 1099 form if you were self-employed or on contract. Additionally, you may be able to claim education tax credit, which can only be credited if you file.
You may be able to find a reason to file a tax return even if you earn less than the standard deduction - find out below.
Tax Tip: File a tax return or tax extension (no longer available for 2020 Returns) on time if you owe taxes, even if you can't pay the taxes on time. Keep in mind that the late-filing penalties are considerably higher than the penalties for not paying taxes on time.
We spare you the time and effort of researching whether you have to file a tax return or not; simply use the free and easy FILEucator above to find out if you are required to file a return or not. Just click and answer a few questions and you will know. Even if you're not required to file a 2020 return, there are reasons you may want to file a tax return as listed above.
If you wish to read more about this, review the sections below to find out if you are required to file a 2020 Tax Return:
- Minimum income tax return filing requirements
- Other reasons to file a return
- Tax return filing requirements for dependents
- Reasons you may want to file a tax return
- Taxable versus nontaxable income.
Criteria to File Income Tax Returns
The minimum income required to file a tax return for Tax Year 2020 depends on your taxable income, age, and filing status during the tax year. The minimum income levels for the various filing statuses are listed on our standard deduction page. If you make more than the standard deduction for your age and filing status, then you are required to file a tax return.
If you earned below the minimum income for your filing status, you may not be required to file a Federal Tax Return. However, there are reasons why you may still want to file. See a detailed listing below.
Income: W-2 Wages, Salary
Generally, if your income is below the current standard deductions, you don't have to file a return. However, it might still be beneficial for you to file as stated with the example above. Review W-2 Income
Income: Unemployment Benefits
will be reported to you and the IRS on Form 1099-G. Visit the states page
to find information on state unemployment benefits. In most cases, taxes are withheld from unemployment payments. If you received unemployment benefits during 2020, you will need to report them on your return.
If somebody will claim you as a dependent on their return, use the FILEucator above and visit this page: Dependents and Taxes
Household Employment Taxes
If you employ any person(s) to work in your home or other residency, then you are a household employer
and will owe household employment taxes. These include hiring a maid, gardener, babysitter, or other person who performs work in or around a private residence of yours. This does not include independent contractors, like plumbers or repairmen.
Alternative Minimum Tax
You may owe the Alternative Minimum Tax
if your AMT is greater than your standard tax liability. The eFile App will determine which you will be subject to when you file for the current year.
Social Security, Medicare Taxes
You may owe Social Security tax
if you have other sources of income - see page for details. Medicare taxes may also be taxed. This goes for unreported tip income
; report any tip income to your employer so they can withhold Social Security, retirement, Medicare, etc.
Church related Income
If you earned $108.28 or more in income from a tax-exempt church or church-controlled organization, taxes do apply against this income. No deductions for trade or business expenses are allowed against this self-employment income.
Premium Tax Credit
You received an advance payment on the Premium Tax Credit
. This credit is refundable and will need to be claimed on a tax return.
If you are planning to claim education credits
, you must file to be refunded the American Opportunity Credit. See the page for additional savings for college students and taxes.
Adoption Tax Credit
If you adopted a qualifying child, you must file to claim the Adoption Tax Credit
. Though nonrefundable, this credit can lower your taxes. See the page to find how to claim it.
TurboTax® is a registered trademark of Intuit, Inc.
H&R Block® is a registered trademark of HRB Innovations, Inc.