If you did not work in 2014 and have zero earnings you are not required to file a tax return. In fact, you may be exempt from filing a tax return if your income fell below the following limits:
These amounts vary depending on your age and filing status and change from one year to another. Exemption from federal tax reporting is not the same as state tax exemption. If you are not required to file federal tax return make sure that the same exemption applies in your home state.
Keep in mind that requirement to file tax return is not always subjected by earning money. Exist other situations that can trigger filing taxes. Some of them are:
- Sale of home
- Sale of other assets such as stock, bonds, or certificates of deposit
- Entitlement to the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Receipt of the Advance Earned Income Credit
- Self employment earnings of $400
You should consider filing taxes even if your income was below the mentioned limits. With each paycheck you make at least minimum tax payments so there is a possibility that you can receive a refund. You can try freefile to evaluate if you can file your tax returns for free. Your only investment is time and an opportunity to collect tax refund and becoming more knowledgeable about your financials.
Filing taxes electronically using tax software such as TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxACT among others, collect all necessary details from you to perform a check of over 350 common credits and deductions. Those credits can further increase your refund amount. Some credits and deductions can carry over to the following year and be applied when you earn some money and file taxes.