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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Who should file a tax return?

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I am a college student but I had some income from two jobs. How do I know if I need to file a tax return?

A: You must file a tax return if your income is above a certain level that changes each year. The amount varies depending on filing status, age and the type of income you receive. See the "individuals" section at under the heading "Who must file?" or see the instructions for a Form 1040 tax return available at most Post Offices and libraries. Many students and low income workers should file even if they are not required to do so in order to receive a credit or refund of taxes withheld. A student with a part time income from a job that withheld taxes is likely to receive a refund by filing a tax return even if the tax filing is not required.


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