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

Filing Basics

Who Must File?

The Three Charts

To determine whether a taxpayer is legally required to file a return, start with the Volunteer Resource Guide, Who Must File tab. Click here to review the dollar amounts in both Charts A and B.

  • Chart A - For Most People Who Must File is for individuals who cannot be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's return. For each filing status and age range, the chart defines the income levels that require the individual to file a tax return.
  • Chart B - For Children and Other Dependents is for single and married dependents.
  • Chart C - Other Situations When You Must File should be reviewed for all individuals as a last step after using the other charts.
Frequently Asked Questions

Question: If a chart or checklist indicates someone who doesn't owe any taxes must file, does the person still have to file?

Answer: Yes. Whether they owe taxes or not, individuals must file a return whenever a chart or checklist shows they must file. For a minor who is unable to file, the child's parent or guardian must complete and sign a return for the child.

Tops of Chart A, Chart B, and Chart C.
Who Must File Charts A and B

Who Must File Charts A and B