Whether you must file a return depends on your gross income,
filing status, and age. It doesn't matter whether you're filing taxes online or by mail.
Gross income includes all income that you receive in the form of
money, goods, property, and services. It does not include any
income that is tax-exempt.
Your filing status is determined on the last day of the tax
year, which is December 31 for calendar year taxpayers. Your filing
status will be determined by whether you are single or married, and
what your family situation is.
If you are age 65 or older on the last day of the tax year, you
are allowed a higher amount of gross income than other taxpayers
before you are required to file a return. The table below lists the
income limit amounts for the 2012 tax year.
* If you turn 65 on January 1, 2013, you are
considered to be age 65 at the end of 2012.
** Gross income means all income you received
in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not
exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the
United States (even if you may exclude part or all of it). Do not
include Social Security benefits unless you are married filing a
separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during
*** If you did not live with your spouse at the
end of 2012 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income
was at least $3,800, you must file a return regardless of your
Even if you are not required to file a tax return, you should if
you are eligible to receive a tax refund. You should file if any of the
following are true: