Tips on Filing Federal Income Tax Returns and the Minimum Income Requirement

Every year, taxpayers are confronted with the inevitability of tax season. Before you spend time planning a return, it’s important to understand the fundamentals. Here are few pointers to help you understand the criteria for filing your income tax return.

Is It Necessary to File?

Before you file an income tax return, make sure you know if you have any taxable income. The amount of time you have to file depends on your age, filing status, and gross income. Singles under the age of 65, for example, must register if their gross earnings exceed $9,350. Others who must file a tax return for the 2010 filing season include self-employed individuals with earnings of at least $400 and church workers with earnings of at least $108.28. Visit us on Metropolitan Income Tax and Book Keeping.

As a result, you must file. So, what’s next?

The tax filing season begins in January, but filing returns too early will result in them being incomplete. If you did contract work this year, for example, your clients could have issued a 1099 for payments made to you. If the statements do not arrive until you file, it will result in income underreporting and tax debt. The safest choice is to double-check that the profits on your books corresponds to the 1099s filed with the IRS. Stay ahead of the game with proper record-keeping as you wait for your tax statements to arrive. While income tax forms and software will be available at the end of the year, you must wait until the official start of tax season to file your return. The Internal Revenue Service maintains a website where you can search the date.

How much time do you have before your return is due?

The deadline for filing an income tax return varies depending on the form of income tax you are reporting. The deadline for filing an individual income tax return is in April of each year.

What if you aren’t ready by the deadline for filing your taxes?

There are many reasons why people put off filing their tax returns. Some people dislike the procedure because it necessitates a lot of record-keeping and filing preparation time. Others put off filing their taxes because they expect to owe money and won’t be able to pay it. If you would meet the filing deadline and owe taxes in either case, you can apply for a filing extension. This gives you more time to plan and make payment plans.

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