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Publication 501

Who Should File(p3)

Even if you do not have to file, you should file a tax return if you can get money back. For example, you should file if one of the following applies.
  1. You had income tax withheld from your pay.
  2. You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year applied to this year's estimated tax.
  3. You qualify for the making work pay credit. See Schedule M (Form 1040A or 1040).
  4. You qualify for the earned income credit. See Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information.
  5. You qualify for the additional child tax credit. See the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for more information on this credit.
  6. You qualify for the refundable American opportunity education credit. See Form 8863, Education Credits.
  7. You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. For information about this credit, see Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit.
  8. You qualify for the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. See Form 8801, Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax — Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.
  9. You qualify for the first-time homebuyer credit. See Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit.
  10. You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. See Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels.
  11. You qualify for the adoption credit. See Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses.