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Accounting Information > Income Taxes > Who must file

Who Must File an Income Tax Return?

             Do you need to file an income tax return this year?  If you are a citizen or resident of the United States, or a resident of Puerto Rico, and the filing requirements for your classification are met, then the answer is yes, you need to file a return.

             General individuals determine if they need to file based on their gross income, their filing status, and their age.  The exact requirements related to income change each year, and can be found in the instructions for the various 1040 forms for the appropriate filing year.  For 2007 income tax returns, a taxpayer who is single and under age 65 would be required to file if he or she had gross income of at least $8,750.  If the taxpayer is single and age 65 or over, the gross income requirement is $10,050.  For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the income filing requirement varies according to age.  If both husband and wife are under 65, the amount is $17,500.  If one spouse is at least 65, the amount is $18,550.  For a husband and wife who are both 65 or over, they must file a return if their gross income is $19,600 or more.  For a married person filing a separate return, the filing threshold is $3,400.  A head of household under age 65 would need to file a return if his or her gross income is $11,250 or higher.  If the head of household is age 65 or over, the filing requirement is $12,550.  A qualifying widow or widower under age 65 would need to file if they have gross income of at least $14,100, and if age 65 or older, the filing requirement rises to $15,150.


            There are situations where a taxpayer must file a return even though they do not meet the income thresholds just outlined.  Self-employed individuals who are liable for self-employment tax must file a return.  If you are eligible for a refund of taxes withheld from your wages, or due to the earned income credit, you must file an income tax return to claim the refund.  Taxpayers that received advance earned income credit payments must file a return.  If any special taxes such as the Alternative Minimum Tax or household employment taxes are incurred, an income tax return must be filed.

             If the taxpayer can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, special income thresholds apply.  There are filing requirements based on both earned and unearned income, and the amounts vary based on whether the dependent is under age 65 or not, or married.

             United States citizens and residents who are living outside of the United States would need to file if they meet the filing requirements based on level of income and filing status.   

             If you are looking for a CPA or Accounting Firm to assist you with your income tax reporting, bookkeeping, financial planning, or general accounting needs, then you have come to the right place!  Use the CPA Search feature on this website to find a qualified professional in your area to meet your needs.


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