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Does one have to file a tax return if...
Old 02-26-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
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Does one have to file a tax return if...

Is Google my friend? This is what I found:

For 2018 - You don't have to file if your earned income and AGI are less than $15,310. Investment income must be $3,500 or less for the year.

Correct?
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:54 AM   #2
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It's a little more complicated than that, but that is a true statement. Here is an article that explains the various scenarios:

https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips...turn/L7pluHkoW
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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You googled it. What was the source you found? Does it seem reliable? More reliable than a stranger here who will probably use google as well?

I bet it matters what your filing status is, and perhaps your age.

Reasons you might want to file anyway:
- If you had anything withheld, you'd need to file to get it back
- To get some tax credits that are not limited by taxes liability
- To carry forward or back any tax credits or capital gains losses
- If you need to file state taxes I'd guess you need to file federal as well
- To get an ACA subsidized health insurance policy, or maybe medicaid?
- Others?
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
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The IRS has something on their site "do I need to file a tax return". You answer the questions and get an answer. Then you can print it out and save it.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
You googled it. What was the source you found? Does it seem reliable? More reliable than a stranger here who will probably use google as well?

I bet it matters what your filing status is, and perhaps your age.

Reasons you might want to file anyway:
- If you had anything withheld, you'd need to file to get it back
- To get some tax credits that are not limited by taxes liability
- To carry forward or back any tax credits or capital gains losses
- If you need to file state taxes I'd guess you need to file federal as well
- To get an ACA subsidized health insurance policy, or maybe medicaid?
- Others?
One other reason to file might be to do low or no-cost Roth conversions if you have tax-deferred funds.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:16 AM   #6
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Starting to do research for an elderly family member.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:17 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by spncity View Post
Is Google my friend? This is what I found:

For 2018 - You don't have to file if your earned income and AGI are less than $15,310. Investment income must be $3,500 or less for the year.

Correct?
What is your source? Are you talking about filing in 2018 (for 2017) or for 2018 (in 2019). Typically the limits are the sum of std deduction (for your age/status) and exemption and the income limits are given in terms of gross income w/ no separate limit on investment income.
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4012.pdf see p A.1......A4
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:24 AM   #8
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For 2018 (to be filed in 2019).

Source: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductio...unts-next-year
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:35 AM   #9
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For 2018 (to be filed in 2019).

Source: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductio...unts-next-year
you are looking at the earned income tax credit limits.............nothing about filing your income tax return requirements there.

Since the single std deduction will be 12K in 2018 and there will be no exemption, it would make sense if the filing requirement on gross income were set at 12K,
consistent w/ past guidelines. If you gross income exceeds deduction/exemption (if existing) then taxable income > 0 and taxes potentially exist.
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Old 02-26-2018, 06:11 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:12 PM   #11
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Starting to do research for an elderly family member.
If this elderly family member cannot do their taxes, you may want to check if they are doing their RMD's properly.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:44 PM   #12
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you are looking at the earned income tax credit limits.............nothing about filing your income tax return requirements there.

Since the single std deduction will be 12K in 2018 and there will be no exemption, it would make sense if the filing requirement on gross income were set at 12K,
consistent w/ past guidelines. If you gross income exceeds deduction/exemption (if existing) then taxable income > 0 and taxes potentially exist.
Actually for folks over 65 the limit would be 13600 because the standard deduction increases if you are 65 or older.
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Old 02-27-2018, 07:19 AM   #13
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All good ideas and comments - thank you.
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Old 02-27-2018, 09:35 AM   #14
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My mom is in assisted living home on a fixed retirement income. Technically she doesn't need to file a tax return, but I filed one anyway and she got $96 back. It cost me about $30 to file the return, so she pocketed around $65. That's not much, but it was enough to make it worth filing.
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Old 02-27-2018, 10:02 AM   #15
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Another reason to file is to help combat identity theft.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:02 PM   #16
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My mom is in assisted living home on a fixed retirement income. Technically she doesn't need to file a tax return, but I filed one anyway and she got $96 back. It cost me about $30 to file the return, so she pocketed around $65. That's not much, but it was enough to make it worth filing.
I assume that is her own money that was withheld? If so perhaps it is time to stop the w/h so you don't have to file?
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Old 02-28-2018, 01:31 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
I assume that is her own money that was withheld? If so perhaps it is time to stop the w/h so you don't have to file?
Sometimes people don't have a choice about withholding.
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Old 02-28-2018, 04:18 PM   #18
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Sometimes people don't have a choice about withholding.
just curious.....when might that be........I don't have any w/h so am ignorant about such things.............
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:18 PM   #19
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just curious.....when might that be........I don't have any w/h so am ignorant about such things.............
Huh. I may have been wrong about that. I googled for some common situations that I thought would require it and found that in each case there is a way to end up with zero withholding if that's what one wants and is entitled to.

The closest I came is if you have a regular job, you have to file a W-4 with a certain number of allowances. To get to zero federal withholding, it is conceivable that you would have to claim such a high number of allowances that might somehow be disallowed by your employer's HR department or, in rare cases, by the IRS if you're not actually entitled to such little withholding because of your tax liability. Obviously this would not apply to the PP's relative.

Thanks for asking!
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Old 02-28-2018, 05:46 PM   #20
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Yeah, I thought of the job later but dismissed it.......for no good reason....elder folks can have jobs too, after all. The only thing that may require it is pension withdrawals..........I know that RMDs can be tax free, but I believe Fidelity said that if I went over, they would need to start w/h. Thanks for investigating.
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