Most Americans file taxes, but not everyone has to. Confused about the rules? This blog clarifies who needs to file and why, even if you’re not required to.

Who Must File Taxes in 2024?

When it comes to filing a tax return, three critical factors come into play: income, age, and filing status. The IRS establishes minimum income thresholds for each combination, making it mandatory to file Taxes if your gross income surpasses the designated limit. Let’s break it down by filing status:

Why to file taxes even if you're not required to?


  • If under 65: $13,850
  • If 65 or older: $15,700

Married Filing Jointly

  • If both under 65: $27,700
  • If one under 65 and one 65 or older: $29,200
  • If both 65 or older: $30,700

Married Filing Separately

  • All ages: $5

Head of Household

  • If under 65: $20,800
  • If 65 or older: $22,650

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

  • If under 65: $27,700
  • If 65 or older: $29,200

Also Read : Filing Requirement 2023

Special Situations to File Taxes

Even if your income falls below the thresholds, certain situations may still necessitate filing, including:

  • You owe special taxes: Alternative minimum tax, additional tax on IRAs, uncollected Social Security or Medicare taxes, etc.
  • You bought health insurance through a marketplace or received HSA distributions.
  • You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400.
  • You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes.
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Should I file taxes even if I don’t have to?

Absolutely! Filing can unlock potential refunds, even if you don’t owe taxes. Consider these compelling reasons:

  • Income tax withheld from your paycheck: Reclaim that money!
  • Overpaid taxes: Refunds from estimated tax payments or overpayments applied to this year’s taxes.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: Up to $6,318 for lower-income workers, even without children.
  • Additional Child Tax Credit: Potential refund of up to $1,600 per child.
  • American Opportunity Credit: Claim up to $2,500 per eligible student for post-high school education expenses, with a 40% refund if you owe no tax.
  • Premium Tax Credit: Eligible for a refund on health insurance marketplace premiums.

Still unsure?

Use the IRS’s interactive tool to check your filing requirements.


  • Filing is free with several software providers if your Adjusted Gross Income is under $79,000.
  • The IRS website offers resources and tools to simplify your filing process.
  • Filing early can expedite your refund.

So, skip the confusion and embark on the potentially financially rewarding journey of filing your taxes, even if you believe you’re not required to. It might just be a dance with the IRS that leaves you with a delightful refund!

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