Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Do You Need to File a Tax Return?

Do you know if you need to file a tax return for 2012?  Here is some information that can help you determine if a return is required for you, and if not, if you should file one anyway.

1.      If you received income during 2012, you may need to file a return.  The amount of income, your filing status, your age and the type of income received will determine whether a return is necessary. 

2.      The Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS website will walk you through a series of questions to help you determine if a return is necessary.  The link is http://www.irs.gov/uac/Do-I-Need-to-File-a-Tax-Return%3F.

3.      If federal income tax was withheld by your employer during 2012, you paid estimated tax payments or had a prior year overpayment applied to 2012, you may have a refund due.

4.      If you worked but earned less than $50,270 during 2012, you may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which could result in a check to you of up to $5,891.  But you have to file to receive the credit.

5.      The Additional Child Tax Credit may be available if you have at least one qualifying child but do not receive the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.  Again, you must file to receive the credit.

6.      The American Opportunity Credit is available for those who are students or who support a student.  If eligible, the credit can range from $1,000 to $2,500.

7.      The Health Coverage Tax Credit is available for some individuals.  As with all of these credits, this one can be claimed only by filing a return.
As you can see, even if you determine that you are not required to file a tax return after using the Interactive Tax Assistant, you may still want to file a return to claim some of these tax credits that could be applicable to you.  As in the case of the Earned Income Tax Credit, they may result in cash payouts even if no refunds are due to you. 

If you are unsure about whether a tax return is necessary or if you are eligible for any of these credits, give us a call at FlemmerAssociates, LLP, and we’ll be happy to help you determine your eligibility and file a return to claim the credits.

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