Whether you must file a return depends on
your gross income, filing status, and age.
Gross income includes all income that you
receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services.
It does not include any income that is tax-exempt.
Your filing status is determined on the last
day of the tax year, which is December 31 for calendar year
taxpayers. Your filing status will be determined by whether
you are single or married, and what your family situation
If you are age 65 or older on the last day
of the tax year, you are allowed a higher amount of gross
income than other taxpayers before you are required to file
a return. The table below lists the income limit amounts for
the 2009 tax year.
your filing status is:
at the end of the
year you were*
must file if your gross income is at least**
||65 or older
|Married Filing Jointly***
||under 65 (both spouses)
||65 or older (one spouse)
||65 or older (both spouses)
|Married Filing Separately
|Head of Household
||65 or older
with Dependent Child
|65 or older
If you were born on January 1, 1945, you are considered to
be age 65 at the end of 2009.
** Gross income means all income you received in the form
of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt
from tax, including any income from sources outside the United
States (even if you may exclude part or all of it). Do not
include Social Security benefits unless you are married filing
a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time
*** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2009
(or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was
at least $3,650, you must file a return regardless of your
Who Should File
Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you should
if you are eligible to receive a refund. You should file if
any of the following are true:
- You had income tax withheld from your pay.
- You made estimated tax payments or had a prior year overpayment
applied to this year's tax.
- You qualify for the American Opportunity Credit.
- You qualify for the First-time Homebuyer credit.
- You qualify for a refundable credit for paying alternative
minimum tax in a prior year.
- You qualify for the Earned Income Credit.
- You qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit.
- You qualify for the Health Coverage Tax Credit.
> Itemized Deductions
> Federal Withholding
> Standard Deductions
> Tax Credits
> Education Credits
> Refund Cycle Chart