Federal Income Tax

Minimum Income to File Taxes 2020 – 2021

Minimum income to file taxes 2020 – 2021 tax season is more than the prior tax season. For the 2020 taxes you’re going to file in 2021, the minimum income limit is the same as the standard deduction for that given year.

Considering the standard deduction is expected to be increased in 2021, so will the minimum income to file taxes. At the time of writing, the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t announced the standard deduction. It is expected that the increase is going to fall somewhere around $200 for single filers, thus, $400 for joint filers, and $300 to $350 for head of household.

With that said, your income surely matters but your filing status has a greater impact. For example, if you’re married but your spouse doesn’t work and you bring less than $25,200, you are most likely to be exempt from filing a tax return. Other things that go into the standard deduction also matters. Because of these, you need to find out whether or not you need to file a tax return by figuring it out with your filing status.

Here is an overview of minimum income to file taxes in the 2021 tax season for 2020 taxes.

Single – Married Filing Separately

First and foremost, if you’re married and filing a separate tax return, the minimum income to file taxes is $5. This isn’t a typo or misinformation. The federal government encourages married couples to file their tax returns jointly. This is the reason why the minimum gross income to file a tax return is $5.

The minimum income to file a tax return for single filers is $12,600 for their 2020 taxes. This is for single filers who are under the age of 65 though. If you’re filing as single and over the age of 65, you get an additional $1,650 in the standard deduction. The additional increase ultimately increases the minimum income limit that applies to you. Instead of $12,600, the income limit is $14,250 for those who are single and over 65.

There is also the case with blindness. If you’re legally blind for tax purposes, the minimum income limit to file a tax return increases, the same as the 65 age.

Filing StatusMinimum Gross Income
Single$12,600
Single (over 65)$14,250
Single (legally blind)$14,250
Married Filing Separately$5

What is legally blind for tax purposes?

If a taxpayer has a visual field of less than 20 degrees, he or she will be considered legally blind. In addition, if the vision of the person can’t be corrected to 20/200 in the better-seeing eye with corrective lenses or glasses, it will be considered as legal blindness.

Married Filing Jointly

The same rules regards to age and blindness apply to married couples who are filing jointly. There are also other things that needs to be accounted.

gross income for

If you or your spouse is over the age of 65, the minimum gross income to file taxes is increased by $1,300. If both you and your spouse are 65 or older, it is increased by $2,600. Having said that, both the standard deduction and the minimum income you need to earn to file a tax return in 2021 increases to $27,800.

This amount is for both of you though. If you’re working but your spouse doesn’t and the income you bring is less than $25,200 while being under the age of 65, you don’t need to file a tax return.

You and your spouse is under the age of 65, the minimum 2020 gross income to file a tax return is $25,200.

You or your spouse is over the age of 65, the minimum 2020 gross income to file a tax return is $26,500.

Both you and your spouse is over the age of 65, the minimum 2020 gross income to file a tax return is $27,800.

The blindness can also increase the minimum income limit to file a tax return in 2021. If you or your spouse is legally blind, you get an additional $1,300. If both you and your spouse are blind, it is $2,600.

Head of Household

Before we get to the minimum gross income to file a tax return for the head of household, let’s see who can file as a head of household.

Those who are single and have a qualifying dependent or child can file taxes as head of household. It gives a higher standard deduction and a lower tax rate. It is definitely much better than filing as single. See the further details on filing your 2020 taxes as head of household from here.

The IRS hasn’t announced the head of household standard deduction. We can just assume that it will be $18,950 which is a $300 increase from last year. This rate of increase is very possible as this has been the case for over three years.

If you’re legally blind or over the age of 65, the minimum gross income limit you earned in 2020 for you is going to be $20,600. If not, then, it’s $18,950 as stated above.

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