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Filing Taxes

Find out everything you need to know about filing taxes.

Adapted from HR Block and Tax Cure

Do I need to pay Taxes?

There is a minimum amount of income you must earn in a year to be required to file taxes. For the 2022 tax year, the income filing threshold is:

  • For single filers or married individuals filing separately: $12,950

  • For head of household filers: $19,400

  • For married individuals filing jointly or qualifying widowers: $25,900

For filing for previous tax years, you’ll need to look up the income filing thresholds for that specific year.

There are specific cases where you’ll need to file a return even if you earned less than the income threshold, including:

  • You earned over $400 in self-employment, after subtracting for business expenses

  • You claimed advance premium tax credits throughout the year

  • To qualify to receive a refundable tax credit (such as the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, or the child care credit)

  • If you are owed a tax refund because you had taxes withheld from your paycheck

  • You have tips or wages that your employer didn’t withhold Social Security or Medicare tax from

What if i haven't paid taxes in years?

To be in good standing with the IRS, taxpayers must file at least 6 years of back tax returns. Before filing:

There is no penalty for failure to file if you’re due a refund.  However, you can only claim refunds for taxes filed within three years of the due date of the return.

  • Call the IRS to confirm that they are looking for six years of returns

  • Request your wage and income transcripts at irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript if you don’t have accurate income information for any jobs worked in the past six years. You can access this info online, or have it sent to you by mail. You’ll need to prove your identity with photo identification.

  • Locate the necessary tax forms. The common form 1040 changes slightly year to year so you will need to search “IRS tax form 1040” plus the year you are filing for. For example, to file taxes for income earned in 2020, search for “IRS tax form 1040 2020”.

Why should I file taxes from previous years?

  • There may be failure to file and failure to pay penalties that accumulate over time. The IRS may take legal action against you, which could include seizing your assets or criminal charges.

  • You can apply for first-time penalty abatement to get relief from penalties for failing to file or pay taxes from previous years. You can qualify if:

    • You didn’t previously have to file a return or you have no penalties for the 3 tax years prior to the tax year in which you received a penalty.

    • You filed all currently required returns or filed an extension of time to file.

    • You have paid, or arranged to pay, any tax due.

How do I file taxes?

If you make under $60,000 a year, you can file your taxes with an IRS partner site for free. Some of the IRS’s partner sites, which are considered part of the “FreeFile Alliance”, include:

  • Cash App Taxes – cash.app/taxes

  • HR Block – hrblock.com/online-tax-filing

  • TurboTax

  • TaxAct

  • FreeTaxUSA

  • Tax Hawk

  • TaxSlayer

  • 1040Now.net

  • 1040.com

  • ezTaxReturn.com

  • OnLine Taxes (OLT)

  • IRE Free Fillable Forms

Before starting to file taxes with one of these sites, it’s important to check that you meet the site’s criteria for free filing. Some companies offer free federal filing but require payment for state filing.

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