If income tax was withheld from your pay, or if you qualify for a refundable credit (such as the earned income credit, the additional child tax credit, or the American opportunity credit), you should file a return to get a refund even if you aren't otherwise required to file a return.
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you must file a return if your gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the appropriate line in Table 1-1. For other filing requirements, see your tax return instructions or Pub. 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. If you were a nonresident alien at any time during the year, the filing requirements that apply to you may be different from those that apply to U.S. citizens. See Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
Note. You must file a return if your gross income was at least the amount shown in the last column.
|IF your filing status is. . .||AND at the end of 2016
you were*. . .
|THEN file a return if your gross income** was at least. . .|
|65 or older||$11,900|
|Head of household||under 65||$13,350|
|65 or older||$14,900|
|Married filing jointly***||under 65 (both spouses)||$20,700|
|65 or older (one spouse)||$21,950|
|65 or older (both spouses)||$23,200|
|Married filing separately||any age (if your spouse itemizes deductions)||$4,050|
with dependent child
|65 or older||$17,900|
|*||If you were born before January 2, 1952, you are considered to be 65 or older at the end of 2016. (If your spouse died in 2016 or if you are preparing a return for someone who died in 2016, see Pub. 501.)|
|**||Gross income means all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that isn't exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). It also includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. But, in figuring gross income, don't reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Don't include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time in 2016 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). If (a) or (b) applies, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or Pub. 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income.|
|***||If you didn't live with your spouse at the end of 2016 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $4,050, you must file a return regardless of your age.|
A personal representative of a decedent's estate can be an executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the decedent's property.
If you are acting as the personal representative of a person who died during the year, you may have to file a final return for that decedent. You also have other duties, such as notifying the IRS that you are acting as the personal representative. Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, is available for this purpose.
When you file a return for the decedent, either as the personal representative or as the surviving spouse, you should write “DECEASED,” the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return.
If no personal representative has been appointed by the due date for filing the return, the surviving spouse (on a joint return) should sign the return and write in the signature area “Filing as surviving spouse.”
For more information, see Pub. 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.
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