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Do you have to file taxes if you do not owe any taxes?


The requirement to file an income tax return is not determined by whether you owe taxes or not, so you must file if you meet all other criteria. In other words, if you earned $26,000, for example, but paid enough taxes via payroll withholding, you still must file.

Beyond that, you may want to file; you will get a refund of any withheld taxes, or are eligible for the earned income credit or other refundable tax credits, or could get a stimulus payment, or to get Social Security credits.

If you don't file, you will get a surprise letter from the IRS, who will be glad to file your taxes for you and will! The practice of the IRS is to assess what they estimate you owe, not considering any deductions you could be eligible for on your tax form. It may take up to a few years, but they will be in touch and the bill could be in the thousands of dollars.