Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Filing Basics

Who Must File?

Taxpayer Information (continued)

Gross Income

An approximation of gross income is enough to see if a taxpayer must file a return. Gross income is all the income the taxpayer received during the tax year in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. It includes both earned and unearned income.

Click here to view the Volunteer Resource Guide, Income section, which lists the sources of taxable and nontaxable income that should be used to determine a person's gross income. You may also refer to the Income lessons in this training guide.

To approximate gross income:

  • Add the amounts from all the taxpayer's Form(s) W-2, box 1
  • Add taxable amounts report on any Form(s) 1099
  • Review the income questions on the intake and interview sheet with the taxpayer to see if there was any additional income not reported on Form W-2 or Form 1099 and determine each amount
  • Total the above amounts to determine the taxpayer's approximate gross income
Tip

Do not include social security benefits when determining the filing requirement unless the taxpayers are married, filing a separate return, and lived with their spouse at any time during the tax year.

Sources of taxable and non taxable income
Intake and interview sheet, page 2

Sources of taxable and non taxable income

Intake and interview sheet