I Didn’t Make Much Money This Year. Do I Have to File Taxes?
Many working mothers have part-time jobs to earn extra income for their family while their children are in school. It may seem that you haven’t made much money over the course of a year and what you did earn only helped a little bit. However, the IRS is the final decision-maker of who needs to file a tax return based on gross income. You'll want to consult with your tax professional before filing your taxes to make certain of all the changes in the forms from the previous year.
What is the Minimum Amount of Income to File Taxes?
When determining if you need to file an income tax return for earnings in 2017 to file in 2018, you need to know your gross income. It also depends on your filing status and age. According to the IRS, gross income means, "all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax." This is the amount of income listed on your W-2 form from your employer. This amount is in
Single filing status:
- $10,400 under the age of 65
- $11,950 age 65 or over
Married filing jointly:
- $20,800 if both spouses under age of 65
- $27,050 if one spouse under age of 65 and one is over 65
- $23,300 if both spouses age 65 or older
Married filing separately:
- $4,050 for all ages, but only $5 if your spouse is itemizing deductions
Head of household:
- $13,400 if under 65
- $14,950 if over 65
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent children:
- $16,750 if under 65
- $18,000 if over 65
How Much Do You Have to Make Before You Pay Taxes?
Having to pay taxes on your income is based on your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The IRS definition of AGI is “gross income minus adjustments to income.” Adjustments include the standard deduction and any credits for several items that reduce your AGI. You can find this amount in the following places on your tax form:
- Line 4 on Form 1040EZ
- Line 21 on Form 1040A
- Line 37 on Form 1040
After you find this amount, you will need to look up the taxes you would owe on the 2017 tax tables. The maximum AGI amount for which you do not need to pay taxes is $0 to $5 for any filing status. If your AGI is between $5 and $15, you'll owe $1 in taxes no matter your filing status. To find the amount you'll owe, look up your AGI on the tax table in the column under your filing status. For example, if your AGI is between $1,000 and $1,025, all filing statuses will pay $101 in taxes. Each increase of $1,000 raises you to a higher tax bracket and raises your taxes owed by $100.
Do You Have to Pay Taxes if You Make Less Than $5,000?
The answer here is a definite no. If you only made $5,000 gross income in 2017, you will definitely not have to pay taxes. The standard deduction for your filing status is more than that amount for all filing categories. So, after the standard deduction is subtracted from your gross income your balance is a negative number for your AGI.
How Much Do You Have to Make to File Taxes When You Freelance?
If you are a freelancer of any type, you will receive a 1099-MISC form for your tax information. The amount you earned from each employer is listed in
As a working mother, you need all the information you can get your hands on to make decisions and plan ahead for tax season. It’s always nice to know if you will have to pay taxes or perhaps expect a refund. Remember, you should always talk to a tax professional before filing your taxes, so you can get the best refund possible for your situation.
- Internal Revenue Service: 2017 Tax Table
- Internal Revenue Service: Definition of Adjusted Gross Income
- Forbes: IRS Announces 2017 Tax Rates, Standard Deductions, Exemption Amounts and More
- H&R Block: How Much Do You Have to Make to File Taxes
- efile.com: Do I Need to File a 2017 Tax Return?
- IRS: 1099-MISC form
- Forbes: Understanding Your Tax Forms 2017: Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement
- Freelance Taxation: The Minimum Freelancers Need to Earn to File Income Taxes
Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.