Minimum Income to File Taxes

You have to pay taxes if you have earned a certain minimum income. In this article, we tell you how much you have to earn in order to be eligible to pay taxes.
WealthHow Staff
The IRS does allow a bit of exemption on the income earned annually. That is to say, not everyone who made a penny in the past year is entitled to pay income tax. Compassionate and understanding as ever, the Internal Revenue Service and tax rules allow a hardship benefit sort of leeway to those who earn very little by not taxing them. But, if you do clear the minimum income threshold for the year, you better file those taxes before the IRS comes rapping your knuckles. So, if you are filing your taxes for the first time, you no doubt want to know if you are eligible to pay for taxes to begin with.
Choose Your Filing Status
If you have a wee bit of information about how the system for filing for taxes works, no doubt you know that you can file taxes under several heads from: married filing jointly, married filing separately, single, head of household, and qualifying widow(er). Let us check out what each of these options means.
Married Filing Jointly
Married filing jointly is an option available to couples who remain married by the end of the year irrespective of when they got married. This option lets couples file for their taxes together and the income in this case is the combined gross income of both spouses.
Married Filing Separately
Married filing separately is again an option available to couples who remain married by the end of the year, irrespective of when they got married. Married filing separately relinquishes one spouse from any tax penalty that may arise due to any problems in payment of tax created by the other partner, and hence, some couples may opt for this option.
Head of Household
You can file your taxes under the option 'head of household' in cases where you are unmarried, but care for a dependent for more than half the year, and pay more than half the costs associated with maintaining the home. This is a popular option for divorcees who are custodians of their children.
Qualifying Widow(er)
You are a qualifying widow if your spouse died sometime in the past couple of years and are not remarried. This option also entails having cared for a dependent for the full year.
All those inapplicable for the past 4 options may choose to file their taxes under this status.
Minimum Income to File Tax Return
So now that you know what your filing status is, let us now proceed to the taxes. I would like to repeat that these figures are applicable for filing 2009 income. These rules regarding minimum income required to file taxes may become obsolete next year!
Filing Status Age Minimum Income Required
Single Above 65 $10,750
Below 65 $9,350
Married Filing Jointly Both below 65 years $18,700
One spouse above 65 years $19,800
Both spouses above 65 $20,900
Married Filing Separately Any age $3,650
Head of Household Below 65 years $12,000
Above 65 $13,400
Qualifying Widow(er) Below 65 years $15,050
Above 65 years $16,150

So, hopefully this article and the table above provides you all the information you needed to know about minimum income to file taxes. So, if you qualify for paying taxes, start filing them today!