When You May Want to File an Optional Tax Return

Posted by Madison on November 30, 2010

There are certain times when you must file a tax return.

But believe it or not, there are also times when you might want to file a tax return even though you aren’t required to do so!

When to File an Optional Tax Return

The IRS specifies that you may want to file a tax return if any of the following situations apply to you:

  • You Will Get Money Back. Even if you don’t have to file a tax return, the IRS might owe you money. It’s best to fill out a tax return to see if you’ll get a refund, and file if you have money that should be refunded to you.
  • You Had Taxes Withheld from Your Paycheck. Your employer is required to withhold taxes, even if you might not owe any.
  • You Made Estimated Tax Payments. This includes applying any of last year’s refund to this years taxes.

Tax Credits to Claim

In addition to the situations above, here are some specific tax credits that you will need to file your taxes to claim:

Prior Years

There are some additional reasons to file that involve prior year taxes:

Prior Year Minimum Tax. If you are eligible for the credit for prior year minimum tax.

Economic Stimulus. If you are making an amendment to a prior year taxes, there is one additional reason to file for year 2007. You need to file to claim the economic stimulus rebate paid in 2007.

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Comments to When You May Want to File an Optional Tax Return

  1. You may also want to do a tax return to start the 3 year clock on being audited for that year. If you never file, the IRS can audit you for that year forever.

    Tim Hawkins

    • That’s a great addition Tim! I’ll add it to the list.


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