Minimum Income to File Taxes 2023 - 2024

The minim income to file taxes refers to the actual income earned. If your 2023 income is less than the limit, you aren’t obligated to file a tax return in 2024.

For almost all taxpayers, if the income earned in 2023 is less than the standard deduction they’re eligible to claim, they aren’t required to file a federal income tax return.

This only applies to the income earned though. For example, if your taxable income is less than $0, you still need to file a tax return. The bottom line is the income earned during the course of that tax year must be less than the standard deduction. Here are the minimum income limits to file a tax return.

Filing StatusMinimum Income (2024)
Married Filing Separately$5
Married Filing Jointly$25,200
Head of Household$18,950

Legally Blind, Aged 65, and Joint Returns

There are certain circumstances where your income can be higher than what’s stated above. If you’re over the age of 65 or legally blind for tax purposes, you get a higher minimum income limit.

If you’re over the age of 65 or legally blind, you get an extra $1,300. This is doubled for joint filers if both you and your spouse is over 65 or legally blind. So add an extra $1,300 or $2,600 on top of the amounts above.

As to why the minimum income to file taxes for those who are married filing separately is $5, you may think it’s a typo. It isn’t. The Internal Revenue Service encourages taxpayers to file taxes jointly if they are married. Surely, by filing a joint return, you get way more than a higher minimum income to file taxes. Joint filers can benefit from certain tax deductions and credits that are only available to them.

On the side of the IRS, a joint return means less work for the agency. Since two taxpayers file a single return, it allows the IRS to process to taxpayer’s tax return at once. Due tho this, the IRS encourages taxpayers to file a joint return.

Every tax year, there is a minimum income to file a tax return. The 2023 tax season isn’t an exception. The minimum income to file taxes 2024 is slightly more than the previous year.

The minimum income to file taxes is the same as the standard deduction for that given tax year. Before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, this limit was the standard deduction plus the exemptions.

Since the TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction, there isn’t much that has changed. If you’re wondering how much you need to make to file a tax return, you can just dive into the standard deduction for 2024.

The standard deduction in 2024 is likely to be increased by $200 for single filers and $350 for those who file taxes as a head of household. It wouldn’t be hard to speculate the standard deduction increase because the IRS has brought the same increase for three consecutive years. There isn’t anything the way for the same increase to the standard deduction.

Possible Minimum Income Limits to File a Tax Return 2024

If the standard deduction increase were to be the same as in previous years, here is what the minimum income to file taxes in 2024 is going to be:

Under 65 Years Old

Filing StatusMinimum Income to File Taxes
Married Filing Jointly$25,200
Head of Household$18,950
Qualifying Widow(er)$25,200
Married Filing Separately$5

65 Years Old and Over

Filing Status Minimum Income to File Taxes
Married Filing Jointly (both spouses 65 and older)$27,900
Married Filing Jointly (one spouse is 65 and older)$26,550
Head of Household$20,300
Qualifying Widow(er)$27,900

Same as any other year, those who are 65 and older qualify for a higher standard deduction, thus, the minimum income to file taxes is increased. The same goes for those who are legally blind for tax purposes. Since the above amounts also count for the standard deduction 2024, there is no further need for an explanation for that.

One thing to always keep in mind that the above amounts refer to the gross earnings. For example, if you’re single and your earnings are more than $12,600 but with the adjustments to your income your taxable income is less than $0, you will still need to file a tax return. Therefore, the limits only apply to net earnings.

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