When it comes to filing taxes, many people assume that you need to have worked at a job or earned income in order to be liable for paying taxes. However, the reality is a bit more complicated than that. Here’s what you need to know about your tax liability even if you haven’t had a traditional job.
Who Needs To File Taxes?
The general rule of thumb is that anyone who earns income during the year may be required to file taxes. This includes not only traditional W-2 employees but also self-employed individuals, freelancers, and small business owners. However, there are some exceptions depending on your specific situation.
Here are some common scenarios where you may not need to file taxes:
- You didn’t earn any income: If you didn’t work or make any money throughout the year then chances are good that you won’t need to file.
- Your earnings were below a certain level: Depending on your age and filing status (single vs married) there may be an earnings threshold below which you don’t have to pay federal income tax.
- For example, in 2021 if you’re under age 65 and single with no dependents then as long as your gross income was less than $12,550 for the year ($25,100 for married couples filing jointly), then generally speaking
you won’t need to file.
- You receive Social Security benefits: If Social Security payments were all or most of your annual income , it’s possible part of these payments could be taxed but in general terms they’re excluded from taxation if meet IRS requirements.
Filing Even When Not Required
Even if none of those circumstances apply to you,and The IRS doesn’t obligate qualify taxpayers–under normal circumstances–who aren’t required by law owe federal tax when submitting information using online taxing services like “Free File”, “TaxSlayer,” among others. It’s important to note that every financial situation is unique and circumstances may change from year-to-year.
Even if you’re not working, it’s possible that you may still be required to file taxes based on your income level or other sources of earnings such as Social Security payments or early retirement plan withdrawals. However, there are several exceptions to the rule depending on your specific circumstances. To determine whether or not you need to file taxes, it’s always best to consult with a tax professional who can help guide you through the process and ensure compliance with IRS regulations.
Do I need to file taxes if I didn’t work during the year?
Even if you did not work or earn income during the year and had no tax withheld from any paychecks, you may still have a requirement to file a tax return. This could be due to certain types of income you received, such as interest on savings accounts or dividends from investments. Additionally, filing a return can help establish eligibility for certain tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is available even for those who did not have earnings.
What happens if I don’t file taxes when I didn’t work?
If your gross income was below the standard deduction amount for your filing status ($12,200 for single filers in 2019 and $24,400 for married couples filing jointly), then you generally don’t need to file a federal tax return. However, it’s important to remember that failing to file when required can result in penalties and interest charges on any unpaid taxes owed.
Can someone else claim me as a dependent if I’m not working but filed my own taxes?
Claiming someone as a dependent typically requires meeting several tests related to age, relationship status, residency and financial support provided by either party among others set forth by the IRS code section 152(a). If another person can meet these requirements -even financially supporting them at times- they may be able to claim that individual as a dependent although he/she files their own separate returns without anyone claiming him/her under dependency exemption.