Who Should File an Individual Income Tax Return?

Henry Daniel Lively

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Tax Lawyer

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Posted almost 4 years ago. 11 helpful votes

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Even if you do not have a filing requirement for an individual, there are certain circumstances as follows where you should file an income tax return anyway:

Even if you do not have to file, you should file a tax return if you can get money back. For example, you should file if one of the following applies.

You had income tax withheld from your pay.

You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year applied to this year's estimated tax.

You qualify for the making work pay credit or the government retiree credit. See Schedule M (Form 1040A or 1040).

You qualify for the earned income credit. See Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information.

You qualify for the additional child tax credit. See the instructions in your tax forms package for more information on this credit.

You qualify for the refundable American opportunity education credit. See Form 8863, Education Credits.

You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. For information about this credit, see Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit.

You qualify for the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. See Form 8801, Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax — Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.

You qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit. See Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit.

Additional Resources

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