Taxpayers are required to file a federal income tax return under certain circumstances. If you cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return, you must file a return if your gross income is above the threshold for your filing status. The minimum gross salary to file taxes is based on all income including your salary, interest income and other sources of income. The figures cited here refer to the 2010 tax year.
If you’re single and under the age of 65 with a gross income of $9,350 or more, then you must file taxes. If you’re 65 or older, the threshold for filing taxes is raised to $10,750.
Married Filing Jointly
If both taxpayers are under age 65 and total gross income is $18,700 or more, then you must file an income tax return. If one filer is 65 and older, then that threshold is $19,800, rising to $20,900 if both filers are 65 or older.
Married Filing Separately
Regardless of your age, if you choose “married filing separately” on your federal tax return, then the filing threshold is the same. For 2010, that amount is $3,650.
Head of Household
When filing as “head of household,” if you are younger than age 65, then you must file once your gross income is $12,000 or more. If you are 65 or older, then that threshold rises to $13,400 or more.
Qualifying Widow or Widower
A qualifying widow or qualifying widower with dependent children must file a federal tax return if the taxpayer’s gross income was $15,050 or more and the filer was under age 65. For individuals claiming this filing status who were 65 and older, then the threshold is increases to $16,150 or more.
If someone else can claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax, then you must file a return if you have unearned income of more than $950 or earned income exceeding $5,700. You may be required to file if you have a combination of earned and and unearned income as well.
You are required to file taxes for other situations including if you owe the alternative minimum tax, your received an advanced earned income credit from your employer during the year, you owe taxes for Social Security or taxes for an IRA. Also, if you are self-employed with net earnings above $400, are looking to recapture an education credit or had wages from a church or qualified church organization that is exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare, you must file.
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