Even if you don't normally file a tax return, you may be eligible for a tax refund and not know it. Here are six tips to help you to know if you should file a tax return:
- General Filing Rules. In most cases, the amount of your income, your filing status, and your age determine if you must file a tax return. If you're single and under the age of 65, you must file if your income was at least $10,300. Other rules may apply if you're self-employed or a dependent of another person. There are also other cases when you must file. Visit IRS.gov/filing to find out if you need to file.
- Premium Tax Credit. If you enrolled in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2015, you may be eligible for the Premium Tax Credit. You will need to file a return to claim the credit. If you chose to have advance payments of the tax credit sent directly to your insurer during 2015 you must file a federal tax return. You should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, by early February. The form will have the necessary information to help you file your tax return.
- Tax Withheld or Paid. If your employer withheld federal income tax from your pay, or if you made estimated tax payments, or if you overpaid on your 2014 tax return, you may qualify for a tax refund. You must file a tax return in order to claim your refund.
- Earned Income Tax Credit. If you worked and earned less than $53,267 in 2015, you may be eligible to receive this tax credit. You could be eligible for up to $6,242 in refunds. Use the 2015 EITC Assistant tool on IRS.gov to find out if you qualify. You must file a tax return to claim this refund.
- Additional Child Tax Credit. Do you have at least one child that qualifies for the Child Tax Credit? If you don't get the full credit amount, you may qualify for the Additional Child Tax Credit.
- American Opportunity Tax Credit. The AOTC is available for four years of post-secondary education, and the potential credit can be up to $2,500 per eligible student. You, your spouse, or your dependent must have been a student enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period. Complete Form 8863 Education Credits and file it with your return to claim the credit. Use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov to see if you qualify.