Tax Return with Zero Income

This page is archived as you can no longer e-file a return to claim any 2020 or 2021 stimulus payments. See how to claim Stimulus payment 1, 2, and/or 3.

How do I prepare and eFile a 2022 Tax Return with zero taxable income?

Article, Solution:

Below are instructions to prepare and eFile a 2022 Tax Return for Individuals who are not normally required to file tax returns, but may need to or want to for other reasons. Important: The federal stimulus payments or Recovery Rebate tax credit can not be claimed by filing a 2022 Return. If you need to claim any stimulus payments:

Claim Stimulus 1 and 2 by filing a 2020 Return; claim Stimulus 3 on a 2021 Return. As of January 1, 2022, this is the only way to claim these stimulus payments.

Follow the instructions below ONLY to e-file a 2022 tax return if you had 0 zero income income during 2022 or are generally not required to file a tax return. You can NOT do this to claim the third stimulus and as well as the Child Tax Credit. In some cases, you can also use these instructions to file your return if you had 0 Income in 2021 and if your spouse filed a tax return as Married Filing Separately. The instructions below do NOT apply for social security income recipients, etc. All social security recipients please follow these instructions.

  • Attention: It's very important to know that the zero Income 2021 tax return is NOT TO BE used if you did have 2021 taxable income or social security income in order to receive the third stimulus payment via the Refundable Tax Credit. Only follow these instructions if you indeed had zero income in 2021. All others must follow these instructions.

If you had zero income in 2021 and generally do not file a return:

  1. Create your free account or Sign into your account.
  2. Start the tax interview process by entering your personal details on the "Name & Address" screen (not shown below). At the end click "Save"
  3. Then, click on Help in the top menu section as shown below.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Click Help

  4. Enter "Recovery Rebate Credit" in the Help search box, click on "Add form" next to Recovery Rebate Credit.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Search Recovery Rebate
  5. Recovery Rebate Entry Screen for the 3rd Stimulus Payment

    If you received the 3. Stimulus payment in 2021, enter the amount you received or the amount listed on notice 1444-C and mailed to you from the IRS. If you DID NOT receive the payment,  enter "0" (zero). If you did not get notice 1444-C or have since discarded it, please enter the amount you received as your third stimulus payment.

    Recovery Rebate

    Make sure you keep and save the letter from the IRS with your 2021 tax return records. You will need the Economic Impact Payment amount you received as stated in the letter from the IRS Notice 1444-C for your 3. stimulus. Additionally, keep record of Notice 1444 for your 1. Stimulus payment and/or 1444-B for the 2. Stimulus payment. If you DID NOT receive for any reason the 3rd stimulus payment, enter a 0 - as in number zero - on the Recovery Rebate Pages on your 2021 Tax Return.

  6. Click Yes or No to answer the question about if you or your spouse was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during 2021.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Member of Armed Forces

  7. Click Save.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Save Recovery Rebate Credit

  8. Click on Federal Taxes in the left green menu. Then, Click on Review under Federal Taxes.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Click Federal Taxes

  9. Answer the two remaining questions in the Review section of Federal Taxes.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Virtual Currency
    Zero Income Tax Return - Foreign Accounts

  10. Click "Finished with Federal" button.
    Zero Income Tax Return - Finished Federal

  11. Click link "No thanks" to skip the State Tax Return preparation process.
    Zero Income Tax Return - No State

  12. You will now be on the File screen and can proceed to e-File your 2021 Tax Return. See the steps on how to efile.