Do I Need To File

do i need to file a tax return?


Who is required to file a tax return?

“Do I Need to File a Tax Return?”
“I Have No Income, Should I File?”
“All I Have is Social Security, Do I Have to File?”
“Do I need to file taxes if I have no income?”
“What is the minimum income to file taxes?”

These questions are asked every day and the answers are not so simple. Yes, the requirement to file has historically been based on how much you earned and if your earnings exceed the amount of your standard deduction, which is based on your filing status, plus your personal exemption(s), then you must file a tax return.
See how that got real complicated real fast.
We prefer to review your tax document or at least talk to you before we answer the question. Below, we point out some aspects of this question that often get overlooked.

Too Much Gross Income

The first thing to look at when it comes to whether or not you are required to file a tax return depending on if your adjusted gross income (AGI) exceed certain thresholds. Relative to the particular tax year if the taxpayer has income over the standard deduction for that tax year then they may need to file taxes. If someone owed a tax liability because they had an AGI over the standard deduction and no withholding or credits to offset that liability owed then they would be required to file.

The people this most often affects are the self employed especially single filers. The self employed most benefit from income deductions they can claim by filling a federal tax return for their self employment income.

Marketplace Health Insurance

Marketplace Health Insurance (i.e. Obamacare) has made the question “Do I need to file a tax return?” much more difficult. Basically, if you received health insurance subsidies (i.e. reduced cost) through the Health Insurance Marketplace during the year, you must file a tax return. It does not matter how much you earned, you must file a tax return.

If you do not file a tax return, you will not be eligible to receive health insurance subsidies going forward. If you have Obamacare, file a tax return.

Social Security

In the past, most tax clients who asked “Do I Need to File a Tax Return?” were receiving Social Security. They asked this question because their other income had decreased and been replaced by Social Security and along the way someone told them that Social Security was not taxable. Let us clarify that for you, Social Security is considered sometimes partly taxable.

Yes, Social Security income can be considered taxable income (up to 85%) depending upon the amount of total income you have that is not Social Security. Again, at M&M Tax we prefer to review your tax documents or at least talk to you before we answer the question, if you have other types of income in addition to your Social Security. However, if your only source of income is Social Security and you do not receive health insurance subsidies, then you are not required to file.

Reasons to File when Not Required

The biggest reason to file when you are not required to file is to get a tax refund. Yes, you may not be required to file, but you are going to want to file if you qualify for a tax refund. Tax refunds can be created from federal tax withheld on your income or from tax credits you may qualify for even when your not required to file.

Tax Credits

The most common credits people file for but are not limited to the earned Income credit, and child tax credit. Also households that never received stimulus payments can still claim them through their 2021 and 2020 tax returns.

A new customer entering M & M Tax Service because walk-ins are welcomed.


walk-ins are welcomed!
appointments are not necessary.


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M & M Tax Service: Tax Preparation and Services in South Carolina