It is not necessary for everyone to file a federal income tax return. Only those whose income exceeds a certain threshold must file. However, there are some good reasons why you might want to consider filing even if you don't have to.

What was your gross income for the year 2018? The IRS has defined gross income as "the income you get in the form of money, property, goods, and services not exempted from tax."

How does the IRS calculate the numbers?

Filing requirements have historically been a taxpayer's standard deduction and personal exemption amounts combined. However, the tax cuts which went into effect in January 2018, eliminated personal exemptions from the tax code through at least the end of 2025. Thus, your filing requirement is equal to the standard deduction for your filing status. 

For a single taxpayer, the standard deduction in 2018 was $12,000, so you would have to file a tax return if your gross income was $12,001. You would subtract the $12,000 standard deduction from that number, and you would have to report and potentially pay tax on that balance of a $1. Your tax liability, what you're required to pay the IRS in federal tax, is based on your taxable income, which is your gross income minus any deductions you may have.

The standard deduction varies based on a taxpayer's filing status, and people who are 65 or older and blind persons get an additional standard deduction on top of their regular standard deduction. Their filing requirements differ due to these additional amounts. 

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Author's Bio: 

Kimmy Burgess is the Manager of Cash in a Snap, which helps clients get connected to its large network of reputed lenders to obtain quick cash advances when they need it most. Kimmy has over 20+ years' experience in Administrative Management, with many years in the lending industry.