If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as dependent, use the information below to determine if you must file a tax return. Keep in mind that if either federal or state taxes were withheld from your paychecks, only by filing a return can you receive a refund for any amounts due back to you. Refer to the IRS Form 1040 Instructions and IRS Publication 501 for additional information. You may also wish to utilize the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) topic Do I need to file a tax return?

Unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income.

If your gross income was $3,950 or more, you usually cannot be claimed as a dependent unless you were under age 19 or a student and under age 24. For details, see IRS Publication 501.

**Please Note: The information below has not been verified for the 2014 tax year as the latest version of Pub. 501 has not yet been released by the IRS.**

Single Dependents
Were you either age 65 or older or blind? If not, then you must file a return if any of the following apply:

  1. Your unearned income was over $1,000.
  2. Your earned income was over $6,100.
  3. Your gross income was more than the larger of
    1. $1,000, or
    2. Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350

If you were blind or age 65 or over, you must file a return if any of the following apply:

  1. Your unearned income was over $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind)
  2. Your earned income was over $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind)
  3. Your gross income was more than the larger of
    1. Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind)
    2. $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind)

Married Dependents
Were you either age 65 or older or blind? If not, then you must file a return if any of the following apply:

  1. Your unearned income was over $1,000.
  2. Your earned income was over $6,100.
  3. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  4. Your gross income was more than the larger of
    1. $1,000, or
    2. Your earned income (up to $5,750), plus $350.

If you were blind or age 65 or older then you must file a return if any of the following apply:

  1. Your unearned income was over $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind).
  2. Your earned income was over $7,300 ($8,500if 65 or older and blind).
  3. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  4. Your gross income was more than the larger of
    1. $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind) or
    2. your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind).

 


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