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IRS.gov Website
Instructions for Form 1040
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink24811vd0e588

Filing Requirements(p7)

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taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink24811vd0e593Introduction

These rules apply to all U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and resident aliens.
efile
Have you tried IRS e-file? It's the fastest way to get your refund and it's free if you are eligible. Visit IRS.gov for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink24811vd0e622

Do You Have To File?(p7)

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Use Chart A, B, or C to see if you must file a return. U.S. citizens who lived in or had income from a U.S. possession should see Pub. 570. Residents of Puerto Rico can use Tax Topic 901 to see if they must file.
taxtip
Even if you do not otherwise have to file a return, you should file one to get a refund of any federal income tax withheld. You should also file if you are eligible for any of the following credits.
  • Earned income credit.
  • Additional child tax credit.
  • American opportunity credit.
  • Credit for federal tax on fuels.
  • Premium tax credit.
  • Health coverage tax credit.
See Pub. 501 for details. Also see Pub. 501 if you do not have to file but received a Form 1099-B (or substitute statement).
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink10002978
Premium tax credit.(p7)
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If advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse with whom you are filing a joint return, or a dependent who enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace, you must file a 2015 return and attach Form 8962.
You (or whoever enrolled you) should have received Form 1095-A from the Marketplace with information about your coverage and any advance payments. You must attach Form 8962 even if someone else enrolled you, your spouse, or your dependent. If you are a dependent who is claimed on someone else's 2015 return, you do not have to attach Form 8962.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink24811vd0e694
Exception for certain children under age 19 or full-time students.(p7)
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If certain conditions apply, you can elect to include on your return the income of a child who was under age 19 at the end of 2015 or was a full-time student under age 24 at the end of 2015. To do so, use Form 8814. If you make this election, your child doesn't have to file a return. For details, use Tax Topic 553 or see Form 8814.
A child born on January 1, 1992, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2015. Do not use Form 8814 for such a child.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink24811vd0e708
Resident aliens.(p7)
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These rules also apply if you were a resident alien. Also, you may qualify for certain tax treaty benefits. See Pub. 519 for details.
taxmap/instr/i1040gi-001.htm#en_us_publink24811vd0e722
Nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens.(p7)
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These rules also apply if you were a nonresident alien or a dual-status alien and both of the following apply.See Pub. 519 for details.
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Specific rules apply to determine if you are a resident alien, nonresident alien, or dual-status alien. Most nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens have different filing requirements and may have to file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. Pub. 519 discusses these requirements and other information to help aliens comply with U.S. tax law.