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:
- New Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit . The new tax credit for health insurance premiums is effective January 1, 2014.
- Making Work Pay Tax Credit . If you qualify for the making work pay credit, you’ll want to file. This includes the government retiree credit, too.
- Earned Income Tax Credit . The earned income credit is intended to help low to moderate income individuals and families and provide an incentive to work.
- Additional Child Tax Credit . You can qualify for the additional child tax credit if you do not have enough tax liability to claim the full amount of the child tax credit .
- American Opportunity Tax Credit . The tuition tax credit expands the old Hope credit.
- Health Coverage Tax Credit . The health coverage tax credit pays 80% of health insurance premiums for eligible individuals and families.
- First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit . If you purchased a new home, you’ll need to file to claim this credit.
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.