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Thursday, April 30, 2015

2012 Federal Income Tax Filing Requirements Coachella Valley

Curious whether you are required to file a US income tax return? Federal income tax returns are required if you are a U.S. citizen or resident (also applies to residence of Puerto Rico) and meet the applicable filing requirements. These requirements depend on 3 things; your gross income, your filing status, and your age (are you 65 and older, or under 65?).

Here is a helpful table to determine whether you are required to file or not. IMPORTANT! Just because you don't need to file doesn't mean you shouldn't. You may be eligable for refundable tax credits, meaning you could get money back from the government regardless if you were employed or not. Give us a call to talk about your tax situration so that we can help you!

2012 Requirements for the Common Taxpayer
If you are.. And age is ( at end of tax year).. Then file if gross income was at least...
Single under 65 $9,750
65 or older $11,200
Married filing jointly under 65 (both spouses) $19,500
65 or older (one spouse) $20,650
65 or older (both spouses) $21,800
Married filing separately any age $3,800
Head of household under 65 $12,500
65 or older $13,950
Qualifying widow(er) with dependant child under 65 $15,700
65 or older $16,800

Age 65 or older as of the end of the tax year means that you turned 65 in the tax year you are filing (i.e. Jan 1st, 2012 - Jan 1st, 2013). That's right, if your birthday is January 1st, you can choose which year you would like to claim as being 65 or older. Most people would choose to be in the 65 or older category sooner than later because of the tax advantages.

If you are self-employed and have earned $400 or more net income you must file a return even if you didn not meet the requirements above. Here are a list of additional situations that would require you to file federal income tax returns:

Specialty tax is owed including:
- Alternative minimum tax
- Additional tax on a qualified plan such as an IRA, or any other tax favored account. If this is your only reason for filing you can file a Form 5329 by itself.
- Household employment taxes. If this is your only reason for filing you can file Schedule H by itself.
- Social Security or Medicare tax on tip money that was not reported by your employer or on wages you received from an employer that did not with hold taxes.
- Recapture of the first-time homebuyer credit.
- Uncollected Social Security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance (any write-in taxes) and additional taxes on health savings accounts.

Received an HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA distributions by you (or your spouse if you have filed jointly).

You had net earnings of at least $400 if you are self employed.

You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or a qualified church controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and medicare taxes.

Are you in the Coachella Valley, CA? We prepare tax returns for individuals, self employed individuals, commission sales persons, and small businesses in La Quinta, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, Indio, Palm Springs, Bermuda Dunes, Thousand Palms, and Cathedral City. Contact us to get started!

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