Why Does Someone Without Income Need to File a Tax Return?

While a U.S. citizen who earns no income is not required to file a federal tax return, submitting a return voluntarily may qualify him for tax credits, states the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS provides an online calculator for a taxpayer to determine whether he must submit a return.

Only a U.S. citizen whose income exceeds certain levels, dependent on filing status, age and income type, is required to file a federal tax return, according to the IRS. Even if a citizen had no taxable income, the IRS recommends filing a return voluntarily if there is a possibility of getting money back through credits, such as the additional child tax credit or the American opportunity education credit.