Quick guide

Didn't make any income: should you still file taxes?

Last updated:

December 8, 2022

If you did not earn any income this year (aka from working), unfortunately, it will not be worthwhile to file your taxes at the federal level for any of the refundable tax credits.  Currently the tax credits require earned income to get the refundable tax credits.  However, you may want to check to see if your state has any tax credits that do not require earned income to receive a refund.  Some state credits can even provide hundreds of dollars in refunds.  

That said, did you file your taxes in 2022? The federal tax laws were different last year, and there were credits like the Child Tax Credit and the Recovery Rebate Credit that didn’t require you to have earned income to get them. So, if you haven’t filed for that year yet, you should consider it! (There’s a tool within our app that helps you estimate your credits from that year to see whether it’s worth it to file.  You can find that tool here. You will need to create an account to use the tool.)

Fun fact: you can file for up to 3 previous years and get a refund for prior year taxes.  Typically, you have 3 years to file a prior year tax return or amend one if you were eligible for a refund.

Also, if you are in a situation where you don’t have money from work, but do have other income or think you must file a tax return, make sure you check with your tax advisor to make sure you file if you should. You want to be sure you are not incurring any fees or penalties by not filing.