5 Reasons to File Taxes*

Jan 22, 2015 by

Form 1040You may not have to file a U.S. federal tax return.

No, I’m not one of those wackos who live in places like the Kentucky boondocks who claim the government doesn’t have the constitutional right to collect income tax or the income tax is against the Bible or some other hooey. Here’s the straight poop, directly from the IRS’ own website:

Who has to file a tax return?

The IRS claims this chart applies to “most people.” To check if the IRS considers you “most people,” please refer to the instructions for Form 1040, pages 8 and 9.

In a nutshell, if your 2014 income was quite low and you’re “most people,” you don’t have to file. But you might want to anyway.

5 Reasons to File a Tax Return Even If You Don’t Have To

    1. Federal Income Tax Withheld — Were federal income taxes withheld by any employer you had in 2014? If you aren’t required to file a return, that means you owe no tax. But there’s only one way to get back that cash that was withheld from your paycheck: file a tax return.
    2. Earned Income Tax Credit — Did you work and earn less than $52,427 in 2014? You may be eligible for an EITC up to $6,143! Use the IRS’ 2014 EITC Assistant to learn if you qualify. If you do, you gotta file a tax return to get the credit.
    3. Additional Child Tax Credit — If you have at least one child who qualifies for the Child Tax Credit but you don’t get the full credit amount, you may qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit. See the instructions for Schedule 8812. (Yeah I know, this is confusing. Remember we are dealing here with something Congress put together—simplicity is not an option.)
    4. American Opportunity Credit — Up to $2,500 per eligible student, the AOC targets post secondary education. You or your dependent must have been a student enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period. Even if you don’t owe income tax, you still may qualify. The IRS’ lovely Interactive Tax Assistant will help you determine if you should file a return so you can claim this credit.
    5. Premium Tax Credit — If you bought health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014, you may be eligible for the new Premium Tax Credit. Here’s the IRS’ Alexis with the details:

Don’t let Uncle Sam have money that’s rightfully yours!

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