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Instructions for Form 1040

Filing Requirements(p7)



These rules apply to all U.S. citizens, regardless of where they live, and resident aliens.
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Do You Have To File?(p7)

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.
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).
Requirement to reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit.(p7)
If you, your spouse with whom you are filing a joint return, or a dependent was enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace for 2016 and advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for this coverage, you must file a 2016 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 2016 return, you do not have to attach Form 8962.
Exception for certain children under age 19 or full-time students.(p7)
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 2016 or was a full-time student under age 24 at the end of 2016. 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, 1993, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2016. Do not use Form 8814 for such a child.
Resident aliens.(p7)
These rules also apply if you were a resident alien. Also, you may qualify for certain tax treaty benefits. See Pub. 519 for details.
Nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens.(p7)
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.
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.