Congratulations on becoming a mom at home. You and your child will enjoy this moment. Cherish it. It goes so fast. Trust me for this one.
Now that you have a routine, a question comes to you:
Do stay-at-home moms have to file taxes?
Disclosure: I am not a tax expert. This article is for informational purposes only. You are an adult and should consult your tax authorities as well as a competent tax accountant.
When I was at home mom, I had this same question. I didn't have Google to search for things, but I did have a phone book. At the front is a list of all government authorities along with their addresses and telephone numbers.
I found the office of the Council for the Equalization of Taxpayer Rights. I called and spoke with a representative. Although I was able to get answers to my questions, it was made clear that I should not take it as tax advice.
The next step was to call my accountant. Work has been part of my life since I was 16, just like taxes. His answer was yes and no. I will explain to you.
As a married couple, you have the option of filing jointly or separately. If as a couple, you file jointly, then yes, you file. If separately, you decide based on earned and / or unearned income.
Let's say I haven't worked the whole tax year. I have no income. I can have income from the sale of assets, business income, investment, alimony, royalties and a number of other types of income – this would be unearned income. In the latter case, I have to file taxes, whether I file a joint or separate return.
For most of my children's lives, my husband worked and I stayed at home. I have not done self-employment and I have not had any assets, interest from a savings account or anything else that would be considered as unearned income.
We jointly filed because our income was such that we qualified for the earned income tax credit allocated to families who earn with a certain amount of money. If I remember correctly, professional status was always marked as a housewife by the accountant.
Let's say you don't intend to take advantage of the earned income tax credit – do you still have to file a return?
Note – mount and read this disclosure before the start of this article – this is only my opinion, not a legal opinion.
It is an option but I would speak with a tax accountant. Filing as a mom who is the sole caretaker of your children may entitle you to deductions or other benefits.
Tax law is confusing even for those who do it for a living. Have you seen the thickness of the tax code?
Remember that you pay taxes locally, at the state level and at the federal level. With the laws changing every year and the fees attached to the Affordable Health Care Act, you can expect things to change for everyone, not just for moms at home with children.
Google is a great place to search for information, but for tax information, I recommend Irs.gov and the websites of your State Tax Equalization Board. These will be the most reliable places to start. If you still have questions, talk to an accountant who is familiar with the federal and federal tax codes.
Don't worry. Spend your time enjoying your child. Do what you normally do, keep your receipts, keep accurate records and file your taxes.
And now I invite you to know more about the taxes for moms (bloggers in particular) on the blog.