I have entered all data for federal & state .. no refund or payments are required .. income is only social security, and $21 bank interest ... no other income of any kind .. individual is over the age of 65 ... not married .. no other oddities or special circumstances .. such as prior year anything ... clean ...
Why doesn't Turbo tax tell me I do not need to file a return?
Your response will be greatly appreciated ..
Actually, TurboTax will not directly tell you whether or not you truly need to file a tax return. The program, by default, assumes that anyone using it has already determined that answer to be "yes" for themselves, independently of the program.
Why is it this way? I cannot answer that intelligently, other than to note that every other tax software program that I'm aware of, or have ever worked with as a CPA, operates similarly. If someone begins to use tax software, such as the TurboTax program, the software is typically designed, by default, to help that person complete a tax return, and not to deter them from doing so. That's the honest truth as I know it, and as I have observed over my years in this industry.
The question naturally arises, then, how does someone know if they need to file a tax return or not, if tax preparation software won't tell them? The answer to that is that there are many sources, on the internet, reading the IRS tax preparation Form 1040 booklet, or by asking a tax professional. Perhaps the best, most definitive, guide I know for answering the "Do I need to file" question for the do-it-yourself person is to refer to Pages 2 through 5 of IRS Publication 501. A courtesy link to that free government document is here:
But, as an accountant who has been doing this long enough to know without really looking, it is highly doubtful that you need to file a tax return, given your self-described circumstances. Nevertheless, please have a look at Table 1, on Page 2, of IRS Publication 501 (and read the text that accompanies it) to know and determine that for certain.
Thank you for asking this thoughtful question, and I hope that you receive some helpful information from this answer.