By this time, most people should have received all of the necessary tax forms in order to prepare their income tax return. Many people have questions about various deductions, credits, and exemptions. However, there are a large number of people who never get that far, because they have one major question: Do I need to file an income tax return?
Well, the IRS has provided a couple of resources to help you understand if you need to prepare a tax return.
What Determines If I Need To File An Income Tax Return?
According to the IRS, “you must file a federal income tax return if your income is above a certain level”. How do you know what that “certain” level is? Well, that varies depending on a few factors:
Your Filing Status
Your Age at the End of the Tax Year
The Type of Income You Receive
Is There An Easy Way To Determine If I Need To File An Income Tax Return?
There are two main methods that the IRS lists that you can use to figure out if you must prepare a return:
Check the Individuals section of the IRS website or consult the instructions for Form 1040 (opens PDF), 1040A (opens PDF), or 1040EZ (opens PDF) for specific details that may help you determine if you need to file a tax return with the IRS this year.
Use the Interactive Tax Assistant available on the IRS website to determine if you need to file. The ITA tool is a tax law resource that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.
If you have determined that you have to prepare a return, then be sure to contact us to set up an appointment for tax preparation. If you decide to file your own taxes, we recommend using TurboTax to do so. Also, keep in mind that there are many benefits when you file a tax return, even when you are not required to do so.
Be sure you are aware of the tax filing delay, as well as the fact that the tax filing deadline has been extended this year. Also, you should know the IRA Contribution Limits, 401k Contribution Limits, and the Income Tax Rates for 2011!
photo by JD Hancock
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