Tax Guide

Who doesn't file a tax return?

Posted February 11, 2014


Certified Public Accountant Ben Micham is a regular guest on the WRAL Noon News, advising about tax and financial issues. This time around, he answers questions from viewers: 


Q: My son is a NC resident & college student in NC. He worked out of state last summer. Is he considered a part year resident?

A: He is probably a non-resident of the state he worked in rather than a part-year resident. It normally depends on the amount of time he spent living and working in the other state, but since you state he is a student and an NC resident, he is probably a non-resident.

Q: I am a single mom with no income. Do I need to file taxes? I have received conflicting answers.

A: No, you don’t need to file. There are minimum income levels you have to meet in order to file, and if you have no income, you don’t need to file.

Q: Do you have to claim Social Security Benefits? One spouse works; the other receives only a small check.

A: If you are filing a joint return, the way to figure it is the following:

  1. Add one-half of the Social Security benefits you received to all your other income, including tax-exempt interest. Tax-exempt interest includes interest from state and municipal bonds.
  2. Next, compare this total to the ‘base amount’ for your filing status. If the total is more than your base amount, then some of your benefits may be taxable.

The three 2013 base amounts are:

$25,000 for single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child or married individuals filing separately who did not live with their spouse at any time during the year;

$32,000 for married couples filing jointly; and

$0 for married persons filing separately who lived together at any time during the year.

Q: Do we have to file NC state return if our only income was military retirement and Social Security?

A: Social Security is not taxable, however, military income can be taxable. Basically, if you had five or more years of creditable service as of August 12, 1989, then your benefits are tax-free. If you don’t meet this “Bailey vs State of NC decision” then you will get a $4,000 exclusion on NC return.

Circular 230 Disclosure: Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax related penalties or promoting, marketing or recommending to any another party any tax related matter addressed herein.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • joanjarrett Feb 14, 2014

    If our income is less than 32,000 for federal and no taxes paid do we file NC tax

  • TDR Feb 11, 2014

    If you are a contractor and work from home but get a w-2 from your contract company, can you claim the home office deduction? I dont report to the contract company, they just issue my paychecks.