TurboTax HelpTurboTax HelpIntuit

How do I decide when to file on my own, not with my parents?

SOLVEDby TurboTax1844Updated 6 days ago

If your gross income is below a certain level as a young adult, you may not have to file your own tax return—though you can still choose to file even if it isn't required. Consider the factors below when making your decision.

The IRS filing requirements are based on a taxpayer’s dependency and filing status. As an independent, you must file your own income tax return if (for tax year 2023) any of the following apply:

  • You're filing Single and had a gross income of $13,850.
  • You're Married Filing Jointly and had a collective gross income of more than $27,700.
  • You’re Head of Household and had a gross income of $20,800.
  • You’re Married Filing Separately and had a gross income of at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  • You sold stock in an investment account.
  • You had a gross business income of at least $400.

As a dependent, you must file your own income tax return if (for tax year 2023) you were:

  • Single, under age 65, not blind, and any of the following apply:
    • Your earned income was more than $13,850.
    • Your unearned income was more than $1,250.
    • Your gross income was more than the larger of:
      • $1,250, or
      • Your earned income (up to $13,450) plus $400.
    • Your business or self-employment net income was at least $400.
  • Over age 64 or blind, and any of the following apply:
    • Your earned income was more than $15,700 ($17,550 if you're over 64 and blind).
    • Your unearned income was more than $3,100 ($4,950 if you're over 64 and blind).
    • Your gross income was more than the larger of:
      • $3,100 ($4,950 if you're over 64 and blind), or
      • Your earned income (up to $13,450) plus $2,250 ($3,100 if you're over 64 and blind).
    • You had a gross business income of at least $400.
  • Married, under age 65, not blind, and any of the following apply:
    • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
    • Your unearned income was more than $1,250.
    • Your earned income was more than $13,850.
    • Your gross income was more than the larger of:
      • $1,250, or 
      • Your earned income (up to $13,450) plus $400.
    • You had a gross business income of at least $400.
  • Married, over age 64, or blind, and any of the following apply:
    • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
    • Your unearned income was more than $2,750 ($4,250 if you're over 64 and blind).
    • Your earned income was more than $15,350 ($16,850 if you're over 64 and blind).
    • Your gross income was more than the larger of:
      • $2,750 ($4,250 if you're over 64 and blind), or 
      • Your earned income (up to $13,450) plus $1,900 ($3,400 if you're over 64 and blind).
    • You had a gross business income of at least $400.

If you have a job and income tax was withheld from your pay, you can file a return to receive a tax refund. You should also consider filing if you qualify for any of the following:

The IRS states that if you can be claimed as a dependent, you must file as a dependent and indicate this on your return (whether you’re being claimed or not). Check first if you’re a qualifying child or relative.

Filing as a dependent means you’ll be ineligible for most tax credits, including education credits like the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. However, depending on your parents’ income, they may benefit from those credits by claiming you on their return. Your parents might also qualify for other tax benefits, such as the Child Tax Credit or the Credit for Other Dependents.

Was this helpful?

You must sign in to vote, reply, or post
Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads