On doing taxes and mystery shopping. What if you don't make enough income to even report?

I am barely able to make rent each month. I'm single, no children. I'm 62, do a lot of mystery shopping and have friends helping me get by until December. How would I handle taxes if I don't even make enough to report? I'll start getting Social Security at the end of the year. I know that's not taxable...I don't make enough.

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I'm curious about what you think is enough to report?

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
In many communities AARP or similar groups volunteer to assist low income and the elderly in filing their taxes. Chances are that you will owe no taxes, but probably best to have a return filed anyway. Often the volunteers do the returns in the public library so you may want to check with your library.
First, John, let me say that I'm sorry you're struggling financially. I have been in that position in the past and saying that it's stressful is a huge understatement.

The program Flash is talking about is called VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance). If I remember right, it's government sponsored. I volunteered while completing my accounting degree several years ago. The tax preparers are trained and have to pass examinations to get their tax preparer id number from the IRS. There is always someone with many years of tax experience on hand to tackle more complicated returns and to review returns prepared by those with lesser experience.

It's a great program and I encourage you to find a location near you when tax season rolls around. Until then, just keep good records.

I used to see a life coach pretty regularly.... back when they were called bartenders.
I thought I read somewhere that less than $9,000.00 total was not required to report.

Edited to add, I am not a legal or financial advisor. Just sharing what I remember reading once.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2015 03:20PM by SouthernCharm.
I thought it was like $500.

Like you am an also not a legal or financial advisor.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I may just barely clear $10,000. Just a quick explanation of what happened. I worked for 30 years in aerospace, had a nice savings set up. I became my mother's caregiver for 7 years. For 7 years I had no regular job or working income. I was not going to put my mother in a nursing home. After she passed away I wasn't able to find a job. I had temp agencies saying, because I hadn't worked in 7 years, no one would hire me. It didn't matter how good of an employee you are, what your job skills are, what you know ( I was also 60 at the time)....they wouldn't hire someone who's been unemployed that long. I had to turn to mystery shopping just to earn an income.
I just read the income threshold for single/ under 65 is $10,150. But would this include income from mystery shopping? What about the social security and Medicare taxes?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2015 03:29PM by johnb974.
According to the app here [www.efile.com] yes you do.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Here is some information from Turbo Tax. However, I would still check into the options provided by @Flash and @KimRod.

$400.00? I can't even say what I want to say. So, I will be nice. It looks like the government has their hands out everywhere as usual.
The problem is that you are self employed and will have to pay FICA, even if you do not make enough to trigger a tax liability.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@johnb974 wrote:

So I may only have to pay FICA?

There is no way that any of us can tell you one way or the other on that, which is why you need to file a return. If you have good records of your business, by the time a competent preparer puts together your Schedule C you may have a 'net profit' from your business of under $400 and not even have Self Employment Tax. (Mileage expenses and some types of purchases and other expenditures appropriate to your business can significantly lower your 'net profit'.) They will also need to look at any other sources of income.
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