How Much Money do you have to make to file taxes?

The annual Income Tax Return is a tax form filed by Americans of legal age who have a job. It is a mandatory process for most of them, becoming a habit every year. Through this tool, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has information on how much profit and loss you had the previous year.

On the return, you not only have the option to pay, but you can also claim credit and deductions; however, not everyone who earned income the previous year must pay taxes. There are other considerations to bear in mind, such as marital status, the physical and mental condition of the citizen, and the amount of money received.

Faced with this scenario, people wonder how much money you must make to file taxes. We will answer these and other questions in the following lines.

How much money do you have to make to pay taxes?

There are several ways to determine whether you are a taxpayer required to file your annual tax return. Here are the two most common options:

Option One: Standard Deduction

All taxpayers can obtain an annual standard deduction. Thanks to this benefit, a portion of your income is not subject to tax. If the result of this deduction is less than the standard deduction for your filing status, you should not pay taxes.

The standard deduction is a value taken before calculating the taxable income, and if it results in a lower amount, you will not be liable to pay. On the other hand, if it is an amount equal to or greater, you will have to meet your tax liability.

To make this process easier, the IRS established a table that governs the standard deduction, depending on the case. Taxpayers filing a 2021 return follow the following figures:

If you are under age 65 

  • Single/individual taxpayers: $12,550
  • Married taxpayers filing separately: $12,550
  • Heads of household: $18,800
  • Married couples filing jointly: $25,100 when under 65, and $26,800 if one is under 65 and the other is over 65
  • Qualified widows and widowers: $25,100

If you are under age 65 

  • Single/individual taxpayers: $14,250
  • Married taxpayers filing separately: $14,250
  • Heads of household: $20,500
  • Married couples filing a joint return: $26,800
  • Qualified widows and widowers: $26,800

Option Two: Other factors that make you pay taxes

The amount you earn is not the only indicator of whether or not you have to pay taxes. If you fall into one of these categories, you must meet your tax responsibilities.

If you are a citizen or resident alien, you pay taxes if:

  1. You earn a higher income than the standard amount, depending on your age and marital status.
  2. You are married, pay separate taxes, and make more than $5 in gross income.
  3. You received unemployment benefits
  4. You are self-employed and earn more than $400
  5. You owe excise taxes such as the alternative minimum tax (AMT) or domestic employment tax
  6. You or your spouse received advance money from a premium tax credit or the health coverage tax credit
  7. You received distributions from a health savings account

If you are a nonresident alien, you pay tax if:

  1. You are a non-resident alien engaged in commercial business within the United States
  2. You represent a deceased person, estate, or trust filing Form 1040 – NR