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Here's Why You Should Always File Your Taxes, Even If You Made Pennies Last Year

girl taxes documents paper
girl taxes documents paper

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The IRS tax-filing deadline is creeping closer, so now is the time to get any of those lingering questions answered.

To help with that, U.S. News & World Report released a list by certified public accountant Lisa Greene-Lewis of the five most frequently asked tax questions. In general, people most want to know which documents they need to have, when they need to file, and what benefits and deductions are available for different family situations.

One of the most common questions is particularly important, and applies to a lot of part-time or low-income earners: "I didn't make much money last year — do I still need to file my taxes?"

Greene-Lewis says the answer is yes. Even if your total income fell below the IRS cutoff for filing ($10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for married, joint-filers under age 65), filing the return is required for getting a refund on any withheld federal income tax.

If you think this doesn't apply to you, think again. According to the article, the average unclaimed tax refund exceeds $600. The IRS allows these refunds to be claimed for up to three years, so if you've made this mistake in the recent past, you can still correct it.

"Every year, money is left on the table because people don't think they need to file," Greene-Lewis writes. Over the course of several years, those unclaimed refunds add up.

Read the full story and see the four other most-asked tax questions on U.S. News & World Report »



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