Do you have to file taxes every year?

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  • Technically no, if you don't have more than 4k in income, but it is smart to file even if it is zero, so you have no breaks in your tax transcript.
  • Anyone may file a return. It is generally a good idea for many reasons.
  • Many people who may not have to file a return (generally because their earnings are too low), will benefit substantially by doing so...because of the many government programs that provide benefits to those same people.

IRS TAX TIP 2007-12
  • You must file a tax return if your income is above a certain level. The amount varies depending on filing status, age and the type of income you receive.
  • For example, a married couple under age 65 generally is not required to file until their joint income reaches $16,900. However self-employed individuals generally must file a tax return if their net income from self employment exceeds $400.
  • Check the individuals section of the IRS Web site at or consult the instructions for form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for specific details that may affect your need to file a tax return with IRS this year.
  • Even if you do not have to file, you should file to get money back if Federal Income Tax was withheld from your pay, or you qualify for any of the following:
  • Earned Income Tax Credit. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a federal income tax credit for eligible low-income workers. The credit reduces the amount of tax an individual owes, and may be returned in the form of a refund.
  • Telephone Tax Refund. The telephone tax refund is a one-time payment available on your 2006 federal income tax return, designed to refund previously collected long-distance federal excise taxes. It is available to anyone who paid long-distance taxes on landline, cell phone or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.
  • Additional Child Tax Credit. This credit may be available to you if you have three or more qualifying children or if you have one or two qualifying children and earned income that exceeds $11,300. The Additional Child Tax Credit may give you a refund even if you do not owe any tax.
  • Health Coverage Tax Credit. Limited to certain individuals who are receiving certain Trade Adjustment Assistance, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
  • For more information about filing requirements and your eligibility to receive tax credits, visit the IRS Web site at listed under the related links.
  • The above answers is most excellent advise for those who are liable for any tax under the applicable laws referred to in the first two answers. However, that advice can only apply to those who are liable for the tax and therefore required to file a valid tax return. The phrasing of the questions can certainly imply an acceptance of liability, but how is it known that the questioner is indeed liable for the tax in question? Who should file every year, or some years, or not at all? Who determines our tax liability? Who assesses that liability? Did the questioner assess his or her own liability, and thereby making the presumption of the first two answers a reasonable presumption? Actually yes, there is a reasonable presumption by the answers above that the questioner must be liable for the tax in question. Otherwise, why would the question even be asked? There is a tacit acknowledgment of liability simply by heeding the advice that was offered.
  • Who is, by law, required to file a valid tax return? The Internal Revenue Code tells us exactly who is required to this in Sections, 6001, 6011 and 6012:

Sec. 6001. Notice or regulations requiring records, statements, and special returns,
Every person liable for any tax imposed by this title...shall keep records, render such statements, make such returns...
Sec/ 6011. General requirement of return, statement, or list.
(a) General rule.

When by regulations prescribed by the Secretary any person made liable for any tax imposed by this title...shall make a return or statement...

Sec. 6012. Person required to make returns of income.

(a) General rule.

Returns with respect to income taxes under subtitle A shall be made by the following:

(A) Every individual having for the taxable year gross income which equals or exceeds the exemption amount...

It should be clear that the only people required to file a valid tax return under Sections 6001 and 6011 are persons who are liable for or have been made liable for any tax imposed by Title 26. As far as Section 6012 is concerned if someone does not have a taxable year as the term is defined by statute, which is a taxpayers annual accounting period, then Section 6012 does not apply to that person. If someone is not a taxpayer as that term is defined by statute then that person does not have taxable year. So, how is it then, that someone would come to the conclusion they are not liable for any tax imposed by Title 26?

Before anyone can determine the true nature of their own liability for a tax imposed, that person would necessarily have to know the subject of the tax. What is the subject of the tax imposed by Title 26? Is this tax a direct tax on income with out any apportionment or is this an indirect tax on some sort of taxed activity and income is merely what is used to measure the tax? These are questions that matter if one is to accurately determine their own liability. And should not people know what taxes they are liable for and which ones they are not? If someone owes a tax, shouldn't they know the subject of that tax? If they are to believe they are required to file a valid tax return, shouldn't they at least know that they are indeed liable for the tax in question and how they came to be liable for that tax? If someone can not determine by statute, code or regulation how they are one who is subject to and/or liable for the tax, then isn't reasonable to presume they are not liable? And if they are not liable, isn't it reasonable to suggest they are not required by law to file any valid tax returns?

It must be noted that virtually all of the above fits into "tax protestor" type arguments which makes one liable for treble damages for even suggesting them in Court. They are all very poor arguments, disproven so many times that all are tired of hearing them. Albeit, all wish they were even slightly true.

Lets be very clear - a contention that others haven't read and understand the Code and Laws, but this guy beyond absurd,and even offensive. In my 30 years of practice, after many, many years of education, and even work on writing some tax legislation....of all the thousands of lawyers, thousands scholars and politicians, thousands upon thousands more of their family, parents, office people, children, judges, various government employees, etc., all that work with the laws daily, write them, read them, and have all the same motivations as you and me, (to pay as little tax as possible, and many to earn big fee's by showing others how to do so)..NONE COME TO CONCLUSION THAT THE ONE ABOVE HAS. Maybe none are as bright, maybe none are as well versed, maybe none care about their children, parents, themselves, etc. enough to actually want to make the arguments for them he seems to feel are so clear...and be able to not pay their tax fairly decide.

There is an entire court system (Tax Court) that has jurisdiction to hear all matters challenging any part of the laws known as the tax code. The Supreme court has handled appeals from it many times. (And not surprisingly, his citations and references apparently trying to sound informed are entirely inaccurate or irrelevant to this topic, although they may well be correct for another one).

The matter of what constitutes a tax protester argument is fairly well decided, as is how stringently the Courts may respond to it. Basically, anything challenging whether someone is subject to being taxed is a tax protester argument. I think it is fairly obvious that tax is required, period.

To avoid the possibility of someone getting too taken or confused by more of this buffoons mumble jumble I have erased/edited several more "contributions", including those insisting that the court must prove it has jurisdiction to the defendant before hearing the case, and if it doesn't, than he can't be held liable for a tax! Ooh.
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