Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15.
Q: I did not work at all in 1997. Is it necessary for me to file any type of income tax statement? I do not believe so because I do not have a W2 form.
A: Whether you are required to file an income tax return does not depend on whether you received a W-2 or for that matter whether you worked. Your filing requirement is determined by the amount of gross income you received during the tax year. Income from work is only one type of income that is taxed. Other types of income would be dividends and interest income, gains from the sale of securities or other investment assets, pensions and annuities, lottery winnings and other miscellaneous income. Even Social Security, when added to other income, may be partially taxable. The IRS publishes tables that show the minimum level at which a tax return must be filed for various filing statuses. For example, a single individual under 65 must file a return when his gross income exceeds $6,800. A married couple filing a joint tax return must file if their gross income is greater than $12,200.
Kenneth W. Kirby, CPA, Beatty, Satchell & Co., LLC
The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.
To ask a tax question, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800. Call 268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after the greeting. You can also submit questions by e-mail through The Sun's Web site: www.sunspot.net/tax.
Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered personally.
Pub Date: 3/13/98