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need to file quarterly taxes if earning below the federal poverty line

Hello 🙂


I'm going to earn about 10k this year, half of which is from self-employment. I think I've heard that people with earnings below the federal poverty line (12k for a single adult?) don't even need to file taxes. So do I need to file quarterly taxes still?


Thank you!

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2 Replies
Katherine S 63
Employee Tax Expert

need to file quarterly taxes if earning below the federal poverty line

This is a fantastic question!!!!


If you have net earnings of $400 or more, you're required to file a tax return. The IRS does this in order to collect your self-employment tax. You won't owe income tax if your earnings are that low, but you might still owe self-employment tax.   You probably will not  owe any Federal/State taxes.

Here are some of my favorite links concerning Self Employment.

Self employment tax

Self employment tax hub with calculator

Self Employment income and expenses

Thanks again for the best question today!!

Katie S

Katherine S 63

need to file quarterly taxes if earning below the federal poverty line

Thanks so much, Katherine!


I understand now that if I make even $400, I need to file taxes. If I make 5k this year in self-employment funds, do I need to file quarterly taxes?

If I understand the info in the first link you sent, it says that if you expect to pay 1k or more in federal taxes for the year, then you are expected to file quarterly. I've looked at the sched. SE to try to get an idea of the taxes I will owe, but it seems pretty complex, requiring info from other sources I don't have (schedule F & Schedule K-1). Is there an easier way to figure out at what threshold I need to file quarterly taxes?


Also, what is the penalty if I don't. Say I do a regular filing and report 5k of self-employment income for the year. What's an estimate of the penalty I'd pay, if I should have been filing quarterly taxes?


Thank you!

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