It is true that with a job that pays you via payroll check that will result in a W-2 because you are an employee, the threshold that you are worried about before you have to file is in the thousands. Unless of course you make a lot of money from bank interest or you have income tax withheld and you want it refunded to you.
Table 2 and table 3 in IRS pub 501, does a great job of telling you when you must.
For you table 3 is most likely to apply because you weren't an employee and you will not be getting a W-2.
If any of the five conditions listed below applied to you for 2016, you must file a return.
You owe any special taxes, including any of the following.
a. Alternative minimum tax. (See Form 6251.)
b. Additional tax on a
qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA),
or other taxfavored account. (See Pub. 590A, Contributions to
Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs); Pub. 590B, Distributions
from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs); and Pub. 969, Health
Savings Accounts and Other TaxFavored Health Plans.) But if you are
filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329
c. Social security or Medicare tax on tips you didn't
report to your employer (see Pub. 531, Reporting Tip Income) or on
wages you received from an employer who didn't withhold these taxes
(see Form 8919).
d. Writein taxes, including uncollected social
security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips you reported to
your employer or on groupterm life insurance and additional taxes on
health savings accounts. (See Pub. 531, Pub. 969, and the Form 1040
instructions for line 62.)
e. Household employment taxes. But if you
are filing a return only because you owe these taxes, you can file
Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself. f. Recapture taxes. (See the Form
1040 instructions for lines 44, 60b, and 62.)
You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions.
You had net earnings from selfemployment of at least $400. (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions.)
You had wages of $108.28 or more from a church or qualified churchcontrolled organization that is exempt from employer social
security and Medicare taxes. (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its
Advance payments of the premium tax credit were made for you, your spouse, or a dependent who enrolled in coverage through the Health
Insurance Marketplace. You should have received Form(s) 1095A showing
the amount of the advance payments, if any.
It appears that item 3: You had net earnings from selfemployment of at least $400. (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions.) would most likely apply.
It obviously is not too late to file for 2016, because taxes aren't due for another month. As to previous years that would depend if you made money those years, and how much.