For 2019 tax returns, you’re required to file as follows based on your filing status:
|IF your filing status is…||AND at the end of 2019 you were…||THEN file a return if your gross income was at least…|
|65 or older||$13,850|
|head of household||under 65||$18,350|
|65 or older||$20,000|
|married, filing jointly||under 65 (both spouses)||$24,400|
|65 or older (one spouse)||$25,700|
|65 or older (both spouses)||$27,000|
|married, filing separately||any age||$5 (yes, this is really $5 and not a typo)|
|qualifying widow(er)||under 65||$24,400|
|65 or older||$25,700|
Gross income includes all income. For social security income, include 1/2 one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income ($32,000 if married filing jointly).
Even if you are below the above thresholds, you must file if any of the 7 situations apply to you:
- You owe any special taxes such as AMT, additional tax on a qualified plan, security security or medicare tax on tips you didn’t to report to your employer, write-in taxes, household employment taxes, and recapture taxes.
- You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions.
- You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400.
- You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes.
- Advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent who enrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Advance payments of the health coverage tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent.
- You are required to include amounts in income under section 965 or you have a net tax liability under section 965 that you are paying in installments under section 965(h) or deferred by making an election under section 965(i).
Filing requirements for dependents
There is a tax return filing threshold for a dependent child if their:
- unearned income was more than $1,100.
- earned income was more than $12,200.
- gross income was more than the larger of— a. $1,100, or b. Earned income (up to $11,850) plus $350
IF the child has a tax return filing requirement, THEN the parent may report the child’s income if all the following requirements are met:
- The child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a full-time student) at the end of 2019.
- The child’s only income was from interest and dividends, including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.
- The child’s gross income for 2019 was less than $11,000.
- The child is required to file a 2019 return.
- The child does not file a joint return for 2019.
- There were no estimated tax payments for the child for 2019 (including any overpayment of tax from his or her 2018 return applied to 2019 estimated tax).
- There was no federal income tax withheld from the child’s income.