If you are a U.S. citizen and you have received income in the last year, chances are you will need to file a tax return.

How To Find Out?

The best way to find out if you are required to prepare a tax return is to fill out a short questionnaire on the IRS website. The online form takes about 10 minutes to complete. To complete the form you will need to provide information about your marital status and other characteristics, your tax withheld over the past year and you gross income. Again here is the link to the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant.

The form can assess your filing requirements for any of the past three years. In general terms, if you have made an income of more than a few thousand dollars over the past year, you will need to produce a tax return. Once the online form is completed, you will get a clear web page that looks like this:

Typical Answer Screen Tax Filing Required

Do I need to file a tax return?

The final page will give you in the following lines the main reason why you need to file a tax return. It will give you the threshold limits as they relate to your income.

More Answers About Tax Returns

The rest of the answer page will point you in the right direction on how you can prepare your taxes on your own and how you can choose a professional tax preparer.