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I have a w-2 form where I made less than $6000. Do I need to file?

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New Member

I have a w-2 form where I made less than $6000. Do I need to file?

If you have reported and unreported income that exceeds the IRS filing threshold in the table under Federal Filing Requirements below, you will need to file a tax return with the IRS. Determine if you need to file by adding up all income you receive from all sources, such as income on a W-2 or Form 1099s and from side jobs or freelancing.

If your income falls below the IRS filing threshold for your age and filing status, you don't need to file a 2013 federal tax return.

But even if you're not required to file, here are 3 good reasons why you may want to file anyway:

  1. To get a refund for any taxes withheld from your 2016 wages.
  2. To take advantage of the Earned Income Credit (EIC).
  3. To take advantage of any other refundable credits like the Additional Child Tax Credit or the American Opportunity college credit.

What if you don't need to file, you had no withholdings, and you don't qualify for any credits – should you file a return anyway to "prove" to the IRS that you had no taxable income?

We recommend that you don't. For starters, you'll get reject errors if you try to e-file a return that has zero income. And second, because the IRS already knows you either have no income or that your income was below the tax filing requirements. All you're doing is wasting paper and creating extra work for both of you.

Federal (IRS) Filing Requirements

Whether or not you need to file a return depends on your filing status, your age, and your gross income, which may or may not include Social Security benefits.

If your gross income is less than the amount shown below, you're off the hook! You are not required to file a tax return with the IRS. But remember, if Federal taxes were withheld from your earnings, you'll want to file a tax return to get any withholdings back.

Filing Status Age at December 31, 2013 Gross Income Single Under 65 $10,000 65 or older $11,500 Married Filing Jointly Under 65 (both) $20,000 65 or older (both) $22,400 Under 65 (one) $21,200 Married Filing Separately Any $6,100 Head of Household Under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 Qualifying Widow(er) Under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300


  • If you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, the income threshold for filing is generally lower than the chart above. For instance, children and teens who work must file a tax return only if they earn more than $6,100 a year.
  • If you are self-employed and your net earnings (income minus expenses) are more than $400, you need to file and pay self-employment tax. (You won't receive credit toward Social Security benefits if you don’t report and pay this tax.)
  • Special rules apply for dependent children who have investment income. To learn more, read The Kiddie Tax.

Tip: For more in-depth information, consult the IRS' Do I Need to File a Tax Return? tool.

Hope this helps. Thank you for choosing TurboTax! Have a wonderful day.

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