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Do I need to file a federal tax return?

You may or may not need to file a tax return this year depending on factors like your filing status, if you are a dependent, or if you qualify for certain credits such as the Earned Income Credit or education credits. Just because you file taxes doesn’t always mean you will owe money to the IRS, in fact, many taxpayers may look forward to filing so they can get a tax refund.

In general, if you made tax payments during the tax year, such as withholdings from your paychecks, you may want to file a tax return even if you aren't required to since the only way to receive a refund is to file a tax return. If you qualify for any refundable credits you may want to file your federal taxes to make sure you receive any refund you’re entitled to.

If you aren’t sure if you should file your taxes this year, Credit Karma Tax is 100% free from start to finish for both federal and single state tax returns. You can prepare your tax return for free to see if you qualify for a tax refund or need to make any payments to the IRS. To e-file your return with the IRS you must have at least one of the following: income, expenses, taxes you paid, taxes you owe, or a credit. If you only have non-taxable income, such as non-taxable Social Security Income with no federal tax withheld, you can still prepare your return on Credit Karma Tax, print it, and file by mail with the IRS.

The IRS filing requirements vary depending on your situation and sources of income, you can use this interactive tax assistant from the IRS to help determine if you need to file a federal tax return this year: Do I need to file a tax return?

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