Do I Need To File Taxes If I Didn’t Work


Share post:

Protect Against Future Audits

You are NOT Required to File a Tax Return in These Situations

The last thing you want to happen to you is an audit.

In terms of auditing old tax returns, the IRS operates under a statute of limitations. When you make sure that you accurately report your information, they can only go back three years in general. But for the current year, it all starts only when you file the tax return.

Not filing the tax return puts you at risk of having an audit performed by the IRS. So, the IRS says that in situations when you dont want to file, its essential to maintain all important financial records.

Otherwise, you risk dealing with serious problems, and they can get unpleasant instantly.

Notice To Representatives Of Deceased Claimants

Q: How do I access the 1099-G tax form if I am the representative of a deceased claimant?

A: For the New York State Department of Labor to provide you with information belonging to a deceased unemployment insurance claimant, you must first show that you are legally authorized to receive this information. Authorization often comes from the New York State Surrogate Court, and may be one of the following:

If the deceased claimant had no assets, or all property owned by the deceased claimant was owned in common with someone else, then no Executor or Administrator may have been appointed. The representative of the deceased claimant must provide proof that they are authorized to obtain the information. In this case, a surviving spouse should provide NYS DOL with:

  • A copy of the first page and signature page from the last federal tax return showing that the representative and deceased claimant filed jointly or that the representative filed as a qualifying widow of the deceased claimant. , AND
  • A copy of the death certificate noting the representative as the spouse and a copy of their marriage certificate.
  • Please submit proof that you are authorized to receive the deceased claimants information using one of the following methods:

    Recommended Reading: When Does Unemployment End In Illinois

    It Could Pay To File A Tax Return Even If You Don’t Have To

    It may be the case that you’re not required to file a tax return this year, or next year, for that matter. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

    If you file a tax return, you may find that you’re eligible for certain tax credits that will pay you, even if you don’t owe the IRS anything. The Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, for example, is a fully refundable credit worth up to $6,660 for the 2020 tax year and up to $6,728 for the 2021 tax year. Similarly, the Child Tax Credit is partially refundable, so if you have children under age 17 in your household, that could put some money in your pocket.

    Furthermore, if you didn’t receive a stimulus check last year but were entitled based on your earnings, at this point, the only way to get that money is to claim it on this year’s taxes via the Recovery Rebate Credit. There were two separate stimulus checks that went out in 2020 — an initial $1,200 payment and a follow-up payment worth $600.

    Recommended Reading: Federal Taxes On Capital Gains

    Filing Requirements & Taxable Non

    Wages earned from work arent the only type of income thats taxable. This is why not working, by itself, may not always eliminate the need to file a tax return. Gross income your total income thats subject to income tax includes your annual earnings from all sources that arent specifically exempt from tax. Some common examples of taxable income include unemployment compensation earnings from investments such as interest, dividends and gains on stocks, certain disability pensions, and even gambling winnings.

    The IRS typically requires a return when your total gross income is equal to or more than the sum of the standard deduction for your filing status and the personal exemption youre entitled to take. For the 2016 taxation year that gross income threshold starts at $10,350 for a single person under the age of 65 but can rise to $23,200 if you’re over 65 and part of a married couple filing jointly. See IRS document 554 to find which gross income level applies to you.

    You’ll Receive A Summons From The Irs

    Do I Make Enough To Pay Taxes

    If you forget, or otherwise neglect to file a tax return, you can expect to receive a summons from the IRS sort of a not-so-friendly reminder. Just because you didn’t tell the IRS you earned money in the past year doesn’t mean that your employer didn’t!

    If you do receive a summons, it’ll be a part of the IRS collection process that means that the IRS believes you do, in fact, owe taxes. The IRS will send you a summons via snail mail, and it will legally compel you to meet with the IRS to try and determine your tax liability.

    But Beck says it’s possible that you won’t hear anything. However, if the IRS finds that there’s been “willful neglect to file a return” on your part, the IRS can then look at your entire tax history in search of fraud whereas typically, the IRS would only look at the past three years. So, that’s something to be aware of.

    Don’t Miss: How Do I File Back Taxes

    How Do I File Taxes If I Only Received Unemployment In 2020

    Unemployment benefits are taxable income. If you received unemployment benefits at any point you should have receive a Form 1099-G reporting the 2020 total to the IRS. If you didnt receive the form, most state unemployment sites will have the form available to download once you log in. If you had any taxes withheld from the benefits those should appear on the form.

    Josh Rivera

    Follow Josh on Twitter @Josh1Rivera

    Do You Need To File A Tax Return If You Didnt Work

    Most of the time, if you have minimal or zero income in a financial year, you can get away with skipping filing your tax return.

    Every single year, the IRS has a minimum number for filing your tax return. If you earn below this figure, then there is no legal need to file a tax return.

    The IRS will not prosecute you for failing to file a tax return if you can prove that your income for that financial year was below their minimum figure.

    The minimum figure depends on your own personal circumstances, so it is best to do your research to find out if it is applicable to you.

    Some things that influence this number include if you are single, if you are filing jointly, and if you can be listed as dependable on somebody elses tax return.

    It can be difficult to calculate whether, or not, the IRS minimum is applicable to you, which is why some people recommend filing a tax return regardless of your income.

    Even if your income for that year is zero. So, lets take a look at if this is a good idea.

    Also Check: Income Tax Rates In South Carolina

    New Mexicos Law Says Every Person Who Has Income From New Mexico Sources And Who Is Required To File A Federal Income Tax Return Must File A Personal Income Tax Return In New Mexico

    You must also file a New Mexico return if you want to claim:

    • a refund of New Mexico state income tax withheld from your pay, or
    • New Mexico rebates or credits.

    Nonresidents, including foreign nationals and those who reside in states that do not have income taxes, must file when they have both a federal filing requirement and income from any New Mexico source whatsoever.

    A member of the military who was a resident of New Mexico at the time of enlistment and has not changed the state of residency must file a New Mexico income tax return.

    The income of members of an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo who work or live on lands outside the Indian nation tribe or pueblo of which they are members are subject to New Mexico income tax.

    For additional information refer to the frequently asked questions .

    Latest News

    Are There Tax Breaks For Unemployment

    Refund: Claim It or Lose It

    The Earned Income Tax Credit is one tax benefit that many people may overlook. It is intended to help taxpayers with low to moderate income. The amount of credit you can receive depends on your filing status, total income, and how many qualifying children you have.

    If you are paying for childcare while you look for work, you could receive a tax credit to offset those costs. The amount you can claim for the Child and Dependent Care Credit depends on your income.

    For the EITC and the childcare credit, you must have earned income to report on your return. Your unemployment compensation does not count toward these since it is not earned. But if you lost your job during the year, you can still qualify based on what you earned while you were still employed.

    If you have dependents under age 17, you may be able to claim theChild Tax Credit. You do not need to have earned income to qualify for this credit, but your dependents will have to meet certain requirements to be eligible. If you claim anyone over the age of 17, they may qualify for a separate dependent credit worth $500.

    Have you picked up a side gig, like driving for Uber, tutoring, or selling a product as an independent consultant? If so, you may be considered self-employed for tax purposes. To learn more, read: Different Types of Self-Employment.

    Don’t Miss: State Tax Rate In Hawaii

    If You Made No Money You Probably Don’t Have To File Taxes

    PeopleImages/Getty Images

    Federal law doesnt require you to file a tax return if you didnt earn any money during the previous tax year. This might be the case even if you did earn some money but your earnings were less than the amount of that tax years standard deduction.

    So why bother filing a tax return if theres no income left after you subtract the deduction? There are a few reasons you might want to do so, even if you dont technically have to. For starters, you could be leaving money on the table. Learn more about why you might want to file taxes.

    How To File With Little Or No Income

    You can file your taxes using either the standard Form 1040. The IRS offers an online tax filing portal, and taxpayers with an adjusted gross income below $73,000 can access the version which offers guided services to help you fill out these forms. In addition, tax preparation services such as Intuit and H& R Block are required to offer free federal filings for households below certain incomes, which any taxpayer below the tax filing threshold will meet.

    We particularly recommend using either the IRS service or an online preparation service because they are likely to catch low-income that you qualify for. However do not get tricked: Most tax preparation companies work hard to charge households for filing services despite their legal obligations. If you make below the filing threshold, you can file your taxes online for free.

    Also Check: How To File Taxes Yourself

    Getting A Refund With Tax Credits

    It is possible to obtain a refund with a tax credit. There are several tax credits offered by the IRS, which can be taken off your taxes and not your income. If the credit you get is higher than the amount you have to pay in taxes, you can sometimes claim this extra credit as a refund.

    Also, even if your tax is $0, you have the chance to qualify for different tax credits, like the Additional Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit, which will then allow you to get a refund. Just bear in mind that filing the 1040 and other tax forms is necessary if you want to be able to claim the credits.

    Furthermore, depending on the age of your child, the American Rescue Plan will boost the per-child credit to $3,000 or $3,600, and this also expands the Child Tax Credit.

    As such, you have to consider this for the 2021 tax return that you will have to prepare the next year. You can get a refund of the credit for 2021, and the IRS can send out advance payments for this starting with July, ensuring that people can get their money pretty fast.

    If You Need More Time To File

    Tax Deductions

    If you are aware that you need to file a return, and simply need more time, you can always file for an extension. It’s pretty straightforward: You will need to submit Form 4868 to the IRS, either online, or by mail by the filing deadline.

    Note: If you don’t file a tax return and don’t owe any taxes, you have up to three years to claim any refund that might be due. After three years, you will forfeit your refund.

    But remember that if you think that you’ll end up owing the government money, you’ll need to send the IRS a payment by the tax deadline regardless of whether you file an extension. You’ll need to estimate your liability when you submit your extension. If you don’t think you can pay the full amount due, don’t let that stop you from filing your return on time. You can file it even if you cannot pay the full amount due and request an installment agreement. If you think you’re getting a refund, though, there’s no need to pay, just fill out and submit the extension form.

    Also Check: What Is Penalty For Filing Taxes Late

    Other Factors Youll Need To Consider:

    I am collecting unemployment will that impact my income tax?

    • Unemployment benefits are taxable.
    • Unemployment compensation is not considered earned income for the Earned Income Tax Credit , childcare credit, and the Additional Child Tax Credit calculations and can reduce the amount of credits you may have traditionally received.

    Which Employers Must Pay

    The Texas Unemployment Compensation Act defines which employers must report employee wages and pay unemployment taxes. We refer to them as liable employers. Liability for the tax is determined by several different criteria. Once wages are paid, employers should register with the Texas Workforce Commission within 10 days of becoming liable for Texas unemployment tax. For more information, see Determine Whether You Need to Establish an Unemployment Tax Account.

    Also Check: Why Is My Tax Refund So Low 2021

    Tax Impact Of Benefits

    Unemployment benefits are included along with your other income such as wages, salaries, and bank interest . The total amount of income you receive, including your unemployment benefits, and your filing status determines if you need to file a tax return.

    TurboTax Tip: Use the TurboTax Unemployment Center to learn more about unemployment benefits, insurance, and eligibility.

    When Is The Deadline For 2020 Tax Filing

    How To Files Taxes Online Free Without A Job ($20,000 Refund)

    Dont count on a deadline extension just yet. The IRS said April 15 will be the deadline for filing 2020 tax returns, while October 15 will be the deadline to file for an extension.

    Generally, tax refunds for electronically filed returns are issued within three weeks, while paper filing can take longe

    Josh Rivera

    Dont Miss: Can You Receive Unemployment And Disability At The Same Time

    Read Also: Irs Address To Mail Tax Returns

    Filing Requirements For An Llc Partnership

    An LLC that is taxed as a partnership is subject to the same federal income tax return filing requirements as any other partnership. The LLC must file an informational partnership tax return on tax form 1065 unless it did not receive any income during the year AND did not have any expenses that it will claim as deductions or credits.

    Thus, an LLC with no business activity that is taxed as a partnership is not required to file a partnership tax return unless there are expenses or credits that the LLC wants to claim.

    Tax Elections For Llcs

    If an LLC only has one owner , the Internal Revenue Service automatically disregards it for federal income tax purposes. The LLCs member reports the LLCs income and expenses on his or her personal tax return.

    If an LLC has two or more members, the IRS automatically treats it as a partnership. The LLC files an informational partnership tax return and the members also report the LLCs income and expenses on their personal tax returns.

    However, an LLC can change these default classifications and choose to be taxed as a corporation. To do this, the LLC must file Form 8832 with the Internal Revenue Service. The LLC may make this election when it is formed, or it may elect to change its tax classification at a later date.

    Read Also: How Much Property Tax In California

    Can I File Taxes If Im A Stay At Home Mom

    Being a parent can qualify you for the advantageous head of household filing status, too, whether you work or stay at home. Technically, you must be “considered unmarried” to qualify. This means that you didn’t live with your spouse at any point even for one day during the last six months of the tax year.

    Can I Get The Child Tax Credit If I Don’t Work

    The easiest online tax return

    You do not need income to be eligible for the Child Tax Credit if your main home is in the United States for more than half the year. If you do not have income, and do not meet the main home requirement, you will not be able to benefit from the Child Tax Credit because the credit will not be refundable.

    Also Check: How To Check If Taxes Were Filed

    The Premium Tax Credit

    If your income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty line, the PTC will reimburse the amount you spent on monthly premiums for health insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. These federal poverty line thresholds are actually higher than the minimum amount needed to file a tax return. However, if you received unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021, your household income is automatically considered to be 133% of the federal poverty line and therefore qualifies you for the credit.

    To claim it, you must file a federal income tax return and attach Form 8962. More information about claiming this credit can be found here.

    Related articles

    Can You File Taxes On Ssi Disability

    Earned Income Tax Credit Do...

    When Are Business Taxes Due

    Chancellor Delivers Plan For Stability Growth And Public Services ...

    How To File Taxes Free

    Overseas Taxpayers Can Use Irs Free File To Prepare And E...