General Question

sevenfourteen's avatar

When is it ok to NOT file my taxes?

Asked by sevenfourteen (2414 points ) April 13th, 2009

I’m a college student and on my FAFSA (for financial aid) there’s an option that you will not file your taxes. I was wondering, if my income is low enough (I’m a student, I work maybe 20 hours a week) can I just skip filing for this year? It’s also a hassle because I would have to file seperately for my job at home and my job at school because they’re in different states. Should I just suck it up and try to figure out how to file or should I say forget it to the (at max) $30 the government owes me??? Will I get penalized if I don’t file?

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14 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

Suck it up. I don’t know tax law, but if your situation requires you to pay them, then you are required to pay them

“But it’s haaard!” is not a valid excuse for not filing your taxes. Welcome to adulthood… ain’t it a bitch.

robmandu's avatar

When you don’t have any income at all. And even then, the IRS suggests you still return one with zero shown as the income amount, just to be clear about it.

robmandu's avatar

Besides, there’s really nothing to learn. And it certainly will not cost you any money (not federal anyways).

Use TurboTax’s free version that helps you file the 1040EZ for your federal return.

Your state and even your city might also have income taxes, though. So be sure to follow up there. Usually TurboTax can help with that, too.

miasmom's avatar

Get turbo tax and file your taxes, it should take you a couple of hours and you’ll have peace of mind that you did it. It’s the right thing to do and you don’t want to jepordize potential financial aid.

casheroo's avatar

I didn’t think there was an option for not filing your taxes, I know I filled my fafsa out before I had filed, and put that I hadn’t filed yet. But, went back and filled in what I needed to.
It’s not hard, just do it and it’ll be done and over with.

basp's avatar

The only time you don’t have to fill out and submit taxes (as an adult) is if someone else claims you as a dependent.
Adults can be claimed as a dependent if they make less than a certain amount (sorry,can’t remember what the amount is) and the person(s) claiming them can reasonably show they supported that person.

cwilbur's avatar

You aren’t required to file an income tax return if you are owed a refund.

Of course, if the IRS disagrees that you are owed a refund, the only way you’re going to find out is by filing a return.

sevenfourteen's avatar

Alright thanks everyone, I have to figure this all out soon. So would I have to file seperately for the two different states?

Likeradar's avatar

@sevenfourteen Turbotax will talk you through that. If you have a W-2 and any forms you may need for education credits, it’s really very easy.

RedPowerLady's avatar

You absolutely can skip IF you haven’t filed before (as a student either working under the income requirements for filing or working as a work-study participant). However if you have kids then you should file. If you have ever filed in the past then you can’t skip, you have to do it even if there is no real reason.

robmandu's avatar

@sevenfourteen, well, I think that varies from state to state.

I’m pretty sure you need to fill out a tax return for your state of residence (unless you hail from the mighty Lone Star state or a few others).

You might also need to fill out a tax return for the state in which you earned your money. In case of the latter, I expect that your college should have resources to help you. It’s a common student need.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Just adding that I know from experience. You can always double check but I checked several times when I was a student.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Even if you don’t owe taxes, it behooves you to file a return. Unless you do, you won’t get any refunds or credits you are due if you don’t file.

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