Filing requirements and thresholds depends on your age, type, level of your income, as well as your marital status.

If you have gross income* which goes over the filing status threshold amount below, then you are legally obligated to file your annual US tax return.


  • $12,550 (under age 65)
  • $14,250 (65 and over)

Married filing jointly:

  • $25,100 (both spouses under age 65)
  • $26,450 (one spouse 65 or over)
  • $27,800 (both spouses over 65)

Married Filing Separately:

  • Married filing separately — $5 for all ages: Yes, if you are married to a non U.S. citizen, who does not want to sign-up with the IRS so that you can file as “married filing jointly,” then you probably need to file if you have income. And yes, $5 is a very low threshold.

Head of Household:

  • $18,650 (under age 65)
  • $20,500 (65 or over)


  • If you had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400.

*Gross income includes everything from salary, unemployment compensation, investment income, pension income, etc.

Learn more about expat tax filing requirements on our expat tax guide.

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