Do I Need To File A Tax Return?

For many first-time filers and low-income filers, it can be confusing to determine whether or not you need to file a tax return at all. How much do you need to make in order to be required to pay taxes? Is it possible to get a tax refund for taxes you’ve already paid from withheld payments? To help answer questions you may have about filing this year, the IRS has put together 6 reasons why you might want to file if you are not sure of your situation.

Should you file taxes this year?
Should you file taxes this year?

1. Federal Income Tax Withheld. If you are not required to file, you should file to get money back if Federal Income Tax was withheld from your pay, if you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax.

2. Recovery Rebate Credit. If you did not qualify or did not receive the maximum amount for the 2008 Economic Stimulus Payment, you may be entitled to a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2008 tax return.

3. Earned Income Tax Credit. You may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money.  EITC is a refundable tax credit meaning you could qualify for a tax refund.

4. Additional Child Tax Credit. This credit may be available to you if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.

5. First time Homebuyer Credit. If you bought a main home after April 8, 2008, and before July 1, 2009 and did not own a main home during the prior 3 years, you may be able to take this refundable credit.

6. Health Coverage Tax Credit. Certain individuals, who are receiving certain Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a Health Coverage Tax Credit when you file your 2008 tax return.

For more information about filing requirements and your eligibility to receive tax credits, visit the IRS Web site at