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Does a return need to be filed?

I am doing taxes for my sister. She has not filed a return for years because previously her only income was social security disability and she was below any taxable limits. However, in 2023 she received higher interest income due to higher interest rates. After inputting all her info into TT, this caused a small amount of her social security income to be taxable. HOWEVER, her total adjusted gross income, including all interest and taxable social security, is STILL below the standard deduction, and according to TT she owes NO tax. She has not had any tax withheld, nor is she eligible for any other credits that she would need to file to obtain. So does she need to file a return or not? I have found conflicting info online. Even the TT website says if your AGI is below the standard deduction, then no. This agrees with other financial sites I found. But the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant for Do I need to File a Return says yes, because "Your social security benefit income is taxable."

If I wasn't having to do so many family member's taxes this year that will use up my limit of 5 e-filed returns, I would just e-file this for my sister and be done with it. But since I will exceed the limit and don't want to waste one of my e-files on this, do I need to print this return, have her sign it, and mail it, or are we good not filing at all?

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1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Vanessa A
Employee Tax Expert

Does a return need to be filed?

HOWEVER, her total adjusted gross income, including all interest and taxable social security, is STILL below the standard deduction, and according to TT she owes NO tax.  If her income with interest and taxable social security is still below the standard deduction, then NO, she does not need to file a tax return.  

 

If you would decide for some reason to file her return, you would end up needing to print and mail it as it is likely to be rejected as a $0. But, you are good to not file this return at all. 

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1 Reply
Vanessa A
Employee Tax Expert

Does a return need to be filed?

HOWEVER, her total adjusted gross income, including all interest and taxable social security, is STILL below the standard deduction, and according to TT she owes NO tax.  If her income with interest and taxable social security is still below the standard deduction, then NO, she does not need to file a tax return.  

 

If you would decide for some reason to file her return, you would end up needing to print and mail it as it is likely to be rejected as a $0. But, you are good to not file this return at all. 

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
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