Question of the Day – Do I have to file a tax return for 2017?
There are two parts to this question; there is having to file and wanting to file.
You have to file if you are filing as:
Single, you are under age 65, with a 2017 gross income of $10,400 or more.
Married filing Jointly, both spouses under age 65 with a 2017 gross income of $20,800.
Married Filing Separately, you have to file if your 2017 income is $4,050 or more.
Over age 65? Add $1,550 to those minimum incomes.
A dependent on your parent’s return? You have to file your own return with earned income over $6,050, or unearned income over $1,050.
Be sure to include investment or inheritance income, not just wages or Social Security.
Premium Tax Credits. If you are enrolled in an Obamacare (ACA) plan, your tax return serves as a final statement for calculating the Premium Tax Credit. You are required to file.
OK, I didn’t make enough to have to file, and I didn’t have ACA coverage. Why would I want to file?
To get your money back. If you have a W-2 that shows taxes withheld, the only way to get that money back is by filing your return.
To claim credits that you deserve. Filing your tax return is the only way to access the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit, Retirement Savings Contribution Credit, and many others.
To qualify for Health Care Coverage Credits. This is the first thing many Medicaid and other Obamacare providers ask for as proof of income. This is also true for EBT cards and other state assistance.
To earn credit towards Social Security and Medicare. Self-employed taxpayers pay into these funds via the Self-Employment Tax, or SE Tax. That impacts your Social Security payments later on, as they are based on how much you contributed. If you don’t file, you don’t get credit.
To create a tax record. If you want to qualify for a loan, student aid, or other financial assistance, a copy of last year’s return is often requested.
If you missed out on filing for 2014, 2015 or 2016 and left money at the IRS table, don’t fret!
The lookback window is three years, and BattleTax can help with filing or amending those returns.