The law requires you to complete a tax return when you have income above a designated amount. The amount varies according to your age, filing status and income type. However, even if you are not required to file, you might benefit as you could get a refund if taxes were withheld or you qualify of certain refundable credits.
The IRS website is a helpful resource to see if you should file. The Interactive Tax Assistant on the site can lead you through a several questions to see if you should file. Other information is found on printed tax forms.
Six reasons to file a Federal Income Tax Return in 2011 even though you are not required:
Taxes withheld – If any employer withheld taxes, you paid in estimated taxes or had a refund from a previous year credited to this year’s taxes, file for a refund.
EITC – EITC is for those who worked but had limited income. This credit means you might get a refund even if you did not pay any taxes. You must complete the return claiming the credit to qualify.
ACTC – A refundable tax credit for those with one or more children who qualifies that did not get the total amount of the Credit for Child Tax .
AOCS – During the first 4 years of education past high school qualify for this credit of up to $2,500. Even if there is no tax due 40% of the money ($1000) can be refunded to the filer.
Adoption Credit – This credit is available for expenses paid in adopting a child.
HCTC – This credit is available to some individuals receiving assistance in the back to work programs that were established as a part of economic recovery and those receiving pension benefits from a Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. for tax year 2011. Eligible individual can include a large portion of the payments for health insurance they made when they file a tax return this year.
- Some Common Mistakes that are Made on Tax Returns (fastswings.blogspot.com)
- Tax Advice for Newly Weds (2008taxes.org)