Actually, whether you have to file a tax return depends on your filing status, age, how much you make, and what type of income you make. Also, if you bought health insurance coverage through the federal or a state Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014 and received advance payments of the premium tax credit or wish to claim the premium tax credit, you must file a federal tax return.
But whether you have to file or not, you may want to file an income tax return for certain reasons. For example, you may be entitled to a refund if you had money deducted from your paycheck for taxes, or you may be entitled to certain refundable tax credits.
If you're entitled to a refund but don't file a return, you generally only have two (2) years to get it back. Yes, I've had clients lose their right to receive sizable tax refunds, just because they did not timely file a tax return.
Not only that, but filing a tax return can protect you from future I.R.S. trouble in certain ways:
The I.R.S. has only three (3) years to audit your return in most cases, after you file your return. If you understate your income by more than 25%, the I.R.S. has six (6) years to audit, after the date that you file your return.
But if you don't file a tax return, these periods of time never start. The I.R.S. can audit you indefinitely. So I recommend that my clients always file tax returns, whether they have to or not.
For detailed information about whether or not you have to file an income tax return, see I.R.S. Publication 501.
Are you having serious I.R.S. collection trouble? Do you owe over $10,000 to the I.R.S.?
Our law office represents people with I.R.S. tax collection problems, such as tax liens and wage levies. For your free first consultation call our office at 713-772-8037. We offer office and telephone appointments.