Do I Have To File A Return For 2020?

Should I file a return?

Whether you have to or whether you should file a 2020 tax return in 2021 is answered here. The very basic and general answer is this. As a single, married filing separate person if your 2020 income did not not equal or exceed $12,400 - standard deduction limit  - 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 equal or above $18,650 and for Married Filing Jointly and Qualifying Widow(er): $24,800. However, there are many more factors that either might require you to file or it might be beneficial for you to file. See the Reason to File Return example below, plus a more detailed Minimum Income Tax Return Filing Requirements below.

Use the FILEucator tool below to get your personal to e-File or not to file answer quickly and accurately.

Even if you are not required to file, find reasons points below on why you still might want to file. Your filing requirements to prepare and eFile a 2020 federal income tax return by April 15, 2021 depends on the following factors: Filing Status, Taxable Income, and your Dependency Status.

Reason to File a Return: 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 1994 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! The eFile.com tax app would automatically apply the Earned Income Tax Credit - EITC - (for all eligible ages between 25 and 65, and regardless of age, if you have one or more qualified dependents or children) and a tax return would result in a tax refund of $538 as anybody born during or before 1994 is eligible for the EITC at certain income levels. Plus, eligible refundable tax credits might reduce the tax liability and/or increase the tax refund.  Over 65 with Social Security Income?

Tax Tip: File a Tax Return or Tax Extension on time if you owe taxes, even if you can't pay the taxes on time. Keep in mind that the not filing on time Late Penalties are considerably higher than the not paying taxes on time Penalties.

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 Calculator below 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 2019 return, there are reasons you may want to e-file a tax return.

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Do I need to file a Tax Return?
Select Your Filing Status
Do you and/or your spouse have W-2 income? Do you have W-2 income?
$
Do you and/or your spouse have self employment, independent contractor, or 1099 income? Do you have self employment, independent contractor, or 1099 income?
$
Do you have Social Security income?
Is Social Security your ONLY source of income?
You might have to file a return, so let's keep going..

Will you be 65 or older as of 12/31 of the tax year?

Will you or your spouse be 65 or older as of 12/31 of the tax year?

Will you be claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return? (e.g. your parents)
Enter your total unearned income.
$

Are you Blind? Hmmm...

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Based on your information, you are generally not required to file a return. However, there may be reasons you should file anyway:
  • You should file a return if you are getting a refund.
  • You should file a return if you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • You should file a return to report your health insurance if you qualify for the Premium Tax Credit.
  • You should file a return if you or your child needs financial aid for college.
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Based on the information provided, you should file a tax return.
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Start A Return Now on eFile.com For More Personalized Results Before You eFile Your Taxes

If you wish to read more about this, please review the sections below to find out if you are required to file a 2019 tax return in 2020:

  • Minimum Income Tax Return Filing Requirements
  • Other Reasons to File a Tax Return
  • Tax Return Filing Requirements for Dependents
  • Reasons You May Want to File a Tax Return
  • Taxable vs Nontaxable Income

Criteria to File Income Tax Returns

The minimum income required to e-file or file a tax return for Tax Year 2020 depends on your income, age, and filing status during the tax year. The minimum income levels for the various filing statuses are listed in the table below.

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.

Criteria
Description
Taxable versus Tax Free Income
Obviously, if income your generate is tax free, there is no need to file a tax return. Taxable Income versus Tax Free or Non-Taxable Income.
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.
Income: Independent Contractor, Self Employment
Generally, if your self employment income - 1099 Forms - is over $400 requires you are required to file a return.
Income: Unemployment Benefits
Generally, your self employment income - 1099-G - is taxable income and thus you are required to file a return.
Filing Status, Age
The filing status is related to the standard deduction limits by filing status. Age also matters. Thus, check the current standard deduction limits.
Dependent
If somebody will claim you as a dependent on their return, use the FILEucator above and visti this page: Dependents and Taxes.
EITC
If you qualify, you must file a return to receive the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.
Household employment Taxes
You owe household employment taxes.
Taxes owed
You owe additional taxes on a retirement plan (an individual retirement arrangement (IRA) or other tax-favored account) or health savings account.
Alternative Minimum Tax
Home-buyer Credit
You must repay the 2008 Home-buyer Credit (or any other recapture taxes).
Social Security, Medicare Taxes
You owe Social Security and Medicare taxes on unreported tip income.
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.
HSA or MSA Distribution
You received distributions from an HSA or Health Saving Account or MSA Savings Account
Premium Tax Credit
You received an advance payment on the Premium Tax Credit.
Tax Withholding
If you had taxes withheld from your pay, you must file a tax return to receive this money back as a tax refund.
Education Credits
If you are planning to claim education credits, you must file to be refunded the American Opportunity Credit.
Child Tax Credits
If you have a qualifying child but owe no tax, you can file to be refunded the Additional Child Tax Credit.
Health Tax Credit
If you qualify, you must file to claim the refundable Health Coverage Tax Credit.
Adoption Tax Credit
If you adopted a qualifying child, you must file to claim the Adoption Tax Credit.

Find out if you are required to file previous Tax Year tax return(s).

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