The exemption for the single filing is only $11250 ?

The maximum exemption for joint filing tax is $22500 suppose the salary of the husband is $18000 and the wife is $4500 are they eligible to file tax or the tax is exempt as per threshold?

  • 4
    As an aside: based on the other questions you've been asking recently regarding various tax filings and starting a corporation while in the US on a visa, you may be best suited to hire someone to take care of your taxes for you. And I mean an actual accountant, not someone at a pop-up HR Block place. – BobbyScon May 17 '16 at 0:49

Your phrasing of the question isn't very clear, but I believe you're asking:

Does our total household income classify us as tax exempt? Or, can we avoid filing taxes if we make $22,500 or less per year?

The answer is no. Your tax liability will be very low, and if you have dependents or other deductible expenses (mortgage interest, 401K contributions, etc.), you're likely looking at a close to $0 liability. You still have to file your taxes, and you can't claim exempt on your W-4. Even if you did qualify to be tax exempt, you still have to file taxes.

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Standard deduction is $6300, and exemption is $4050, totaling $10,350. (For 2016) Twice this for a couple ($20,700). The tax on money just above this is 10%, so the few thousand above will be taxed at a few hundred dollars. Where are you getting the number you showed?

Can you edit your question to clarify exactly what you are asking?

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There are two different issues that you need to consider:

  • What is the maximum amount of income that I can have before I am required to file an income tax return?


  • What is the maximum amount of income that I can have such that I have no income tax liability?

The answers to these two questions are not always the same.

The answer to the first is described in some detail in Publication 17 available on the IRS website. In the absence of any details about your situation other than what is in your question (e.g. is either salary from self-employment wages that you or your spouse is paying you, are you or your spouse eligible to be claimed as a dependent by someone else, are you an alien, etc), which of the various rule(s) apply to you cannot be determined, and so I will not state a specific number or confirm that what you assert in your question is correct. Furthermore, even if you are not required to file an income-tax return, you might want to choose to file a tax return anyway. The most common reason for this is that if your employer withheld income tax from your salary (and sent it to the IRS on your behalf) but your tax liability for the year is zero, then, in the absence of a filed tax return, the IRS will not refund the tax withheld to you. Nor will your employer return the withheld money to you saying "Oops, we made a mistake last year". That money is gone: an unacknowledged (and non-tax-deductible) gift from you to the US government. So, while "I am not required to file an income tax return and I refuse to do voluntarily what I am not required to do" is a very principled stand to take, it can have monetary consequences. Another reason to file a tax return even when one is not required to do so is to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you qualify for it. As Publication 17 says in Chapter 36, qualified persons must

File a tax return, even if you:
(a) Do not owe any tax,
(b) Did not earn enough money to file a return,
(c) Did not have income taxes withheld from your pay.

in order to claim the credit.

In short, read Publication 17 for yourself, and decide whether you are required to file an income tax return, and if you are not, whether it is worth your while to file the tax return anyway.

Note to readers preparing to down-vote: this answer is prolix and says things that are far too "well-known to everybody" (and especially to you), but please remember that they might not be quite so well-known to the OP.

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  • +1 - sometimes we need to answer the question not asked. My one-liner might have been enough,but this really answers the issues surrounding why one would ask the question. +1 from me. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Oct 5 '16 at 20:19

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