A person making less than a certain minimum, generally does not have to file any personal income taxes. For example, for a single tax payer the minimum for 2019 is $12,200.

However, if the taxpayer is a sole proprietor with business expenses, does that rule still hold true? In other words, let's say the taxpayer is a shopkeeper who started a new shop in 2019 and had receipts of $50,000 and expenses of $40,000 so that for the entire year they made $10,000 but that was their only income. Does the shopkeeper still need to file a form 1040?

1 Answer 1


Yes, because if you have net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more, you are required to pay self-employment tax (source), which requires filing a tax return with Schedule SE. You can use the IRS's Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to confirm this.

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