If you don’t earn money in a calendar year, do you have to file taxes ?

Figuring out taxes can be a tough cookie, especially if you didn’t make any money during a year. Whether you have to file taxes or not depends on a few things like your age, if you’re married, and other bits and bobs. So, let’s break it down.

piles of coins and tax form

Now, if your pockets were empty and you didn’t earn a dime during the year, you usually don’t need to bother with a tax return. But, as with many things in life, there are exceptions. For instance, if you’re someone’s dependent, you might have to file. Or, if you had some money come in but not from working, like from a retirement account, then Uncle Sam still wants to know.

Normally, you only need to file a tax return if the money you made is above a under certain amount. This magic number changes, but just to give you an idea, back in 2020, if you were flying solo and under 65, you had to file a tax return if you made more than $12,400. If you made less, then you usually were off the hook.

But here’s a curveball. Even if you don’t have to file, sometimes doing it anyway can work in your favor. For example, there are these things called tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). They are like little golden nuggets for folks with lower income. If you file a tax return and qualify, you could get some cash back. So, it might be worth a shot.

If this tax stuff makes your head spin, don’t fret. It’s always a smart move to chat with a tax pro if you’re not sure what to do. They can help you figure out the tax maze and make sure you get any tax breaks coming to you.

Understanding the tax rules and filing right can keep you out of hot water with the IRS. It’s worth it to get the lowdown or talk to a pro if you need help.

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