Typically, if you do not have any taxable income, you do not need to file a tax return. However, the stimulus payments in recent years have shown us how important it is to have your information updated with the IRS, so filing returns without any taxable income has become very normal.
There are two main ways to file without any taxable income, the IRS Non-Filers tool and adding $1 of interest income to your return and filing it normally.
How do I use the Non-Filers Tool?
Use this tool to give the IRS your information. They will automatically determine your eligibility and issue advance payments based on the information you give. To access the IRS Non-Filer tool, please use the link.
Once you submit your information using the Non-Filer tool, remember that counts as filing a tax return. Make sure you do not use the Non-Filers tool if you plan on filing a regular 1040 tax return. If you end up using the Non-Filers tool; then try to file a regular tax return, the IRS will reject your tax return stating that they've already accepted a return for your Social Security Number.
How do I add $1 of interest income?
If you file a tax return without any taxable income, the IRS will reject it. To get around this rejection, the IRS suggests people report $1 of interest income on their tax return. To accomplish this within the program, please follow the steps listed below.
- Select Federal from the navigation bar
- Select Income from the same navigation bar
- Select 099-INT, DIV, OID from the Income page
- Choose Did you earn any interest or dividend income from a bank, brokerage firm or some other financial institution?
- Select Interest Income, Form 1099-INT, (including interest income < $1,500), then press continue
- Enter your name in the box titled "Payer's Name" and $1 inside the box labeled Interest Income (Box 1)
- Press continue at the bottom of the page to save your entries to your tax return