There is an exception to the rule that gross income doesn’t include social security benefits. If half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Also note that married filing separate have different social security rules.
Other Income Requirements
You must file taxes if your self employment and church earnings are:
Self employment net earnings are greater than $400.
Church earnings are greater than $108.28 and are exempt from employer Social Security and Medicare.
Other Tax Filing Requirements
In addition to the income requirements, there are other circumstances when you must file a tax return. See Publication 501 for all the requirements.
You can choose to file a return. You may want to do this if you had any federal withholding or are entitled to tax credits, like the earned income tax credit, to get a refund.
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