2020 US tax return: what's the minimum income to file taxes?
Depending on their earnings, US taxpayers may not have to submit a tax return. Here's a breakdown of the income requirements for filing taxes.
Taxpayers in the United States have until 15 April 2021 to submit their federal income tax return for 2020 - but people whose earnings didn't reach a certain level do not have to file.
Here's an overview of how much you need to have earned in 2020 to be required to complete a US tax return this year.
Income requirements for most people
For most taxpayers, a tax return must be filed if your income exceeded the following minimum income limits last year:
|Filing status||Age at end of 2020||Minimum gross income|
|Single||65 or over||$14,050|
|Married joint filer||Both spouses under 65||$24,800|
|Married joint filer||One spouse under 65||$26,100|
|Married joint filer||Both spouses over 65||$27,400|
|Married separate filer||Any||$5|
|Head of household||Under 65||$18,650|
|Head of household||65 or over||$20,300|
|Qualifying widow(er)||Under 65||$24,800|
|Qualifying widow(er)||65 or over||$26,100|
Income requirements for dependents
If you are claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return, a different set of income requirements apply to you. Dependents whose earnings are over the following minimums must file a 2020 return:
|Age at end of 2020:||Under 65||65 or over||65 or over and blind||Under 65||65 or over||65 or over and blind|
|Unearned income above:||$1,100||$2,750||$4,400||$1,100||$2,400||$3,700|
|Earned income above:||$12,400||$14,050||$15,700||$12,400||$13,700||$15,000|
|Gross income above larger of:||$1,100 or earned income (max. $12,050) + $350||$2,750 or earned income (max. $12,050) + $2,000||$4,400 or earned income (max. $12,050) + $3,650||$1,100 or earned income (max. $12,050) + $350||$2,400 or earned income (max. $12,050) + $1,650||$3,700 or earned income (max. $12,050) + $2,950|
*Married dependents must file a tax return if their income was at least $5 and their spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
Other situations in which you'll need to file a tax return
According to the IRS, you must also file a tax return if, for example:
- You are self-employed and had net earnings of at least $400 in 2020
- You owe any special taxes
- You earned $108.28 or more from a "church or a qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes".
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