Tax Preparation Help  
Form 1040 Instructions 2005 2005 Tax Year

Do You Have To File?

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 IRS TeleTax Topic 901 to see if they must file.

  • Chart A: For Most People
  • Chart B: For Children and Other Dependents
  • Chart C: Other Situations When You Must File

Caution!

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 the earned income credit, the additional child tax credit, or the health coverage tax credit.

Exception for children under age 14. If you are planning to file a tax return for your child who was under age 14 at the end of 2005 and certain other conditions apply, you can elect to include your child's income on your return. But you must use Form 8814 to do so. If you make this election, your child does not have to file a return. For details, use TeleTax topic 553 (see page 8) or see Form 8814.

Caution!

A child born on January 1, 1992, is considered to be age 14 at the end of 2005. Do not use Form 8814 for such a child.

Resident aliens. 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. These rules also apply to nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens who were married to U.S. citizens or residents at the end of 2005 and who have elected to be taxed as resident aliens. Other nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens have different filing requirements. They may have to file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. Specific rules apply to determine if you are a resident or nonresident alien. See Pub. 519 for details, including the rules for students and scholars who are aliens.

Caution!

Specific rules apply to determine if you are a resident alien, nonresident alien, or dual-status alien. Most nonresident aliens 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. including tax treaty benefits and rules for students and scholars.

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