If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to file?

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If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to file?

Postby tc101 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:08 pm

I actually owe zero income tax this year. Am I still supposed to file?
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby tc101 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:10 pm

I found the answer, and the link is below if anyone wants to read the details. The short answer is that you are not required to file, but it is still usually a good idea to file anyway.

http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/ta ... 14238.html
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby billern » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:11 pm

Owing no income tax does not determine whether you have a filing requirement or not.

If you are under the thresholds for certain types of income, you have no tax filing requirement. Read the IRS and State publications and form instructions.
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby jsl11 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:13 pm

If you are due a refund, you certainly should file.
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby crowd79 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:33 pm

Look at your W-2's. Was Federal (& State) income tax withheld? If yes, then you definitely want to file to get a refund. If you did not have tax withheld, then there's a possibility you owe.

Either way, I definitely would file.
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby nisiprius » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:40 pm

"Who must file" is not the same as "who must pay." If, for example, you have assembled enough itemized deductions and other things that you owe zero taxes--I don't know if that's literally still possible--the IRS will want the details of how you did it.

And, frankly, if I'd filed regularly year after year, I'd probably go ahead and file even if I weren't required to, because not filing might raise some electronic eyebrows.

Straight from the horse's mouth:
Do You Have To File? It says "use chart A," and if you scroll down a bit there it is.

Do I have to File a Tax Return? points out "some instances when you may want to file a tax return even though you are not required to do so," such as refunds of withholding tax, credits, etc.

My personal experience is that they do pretty decent "customer service" and that it is NOT a waste of time to telephone them at 1-800-829-1040 if you have questions.
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby HouseStark » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:22 pm

As has been pointed out, not owing income tax does not necessarily equate to not being required to file a return. In any case, I think filing a tax return anyway is a good idea, even if not required. If you are in the income range of not having any tax, there is a good chance that you would qualify for free online e-filing. Go to irs.gov and look for links to free filing. Did I mention it's free?
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby CMartel2 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:45 pm

Just based on the number of times I've been asked for a previous year's tax returns, I think it makes sense to go ahead and file even if your income level doesn't require you to file. I know for my student loans and income-based repayment, they ask for my previous year's tax returns.

This is especially true for student loans or for applying for alternative loans.
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby Snow Boarder » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:36 pm

CMartel2 wrote:Just based on the number of times I've been asked for a previous year's tax returns, I think it makes sense to go ahead and file even if your income level doesn't require you to file.

+1 I definately agree that filing is in your best future interest.
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby jeffyscott » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:11 am

billern wrote:Owing no income tax does not determine whether you have a filing requirement or not.


But I believe there is no penalty for late filing, if you owed no taxes. So is a requirement, without a penalty for failing to meet it truly a requirement?
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Re: If you don't owe any income tax, are you supposed to fil

Postby Default User BR » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:16 am

CMartel2 wrote:Just based on the number of times I've been asked for a previous year's tax returns

I have never been asked for that.


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