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Per the Department of Justice, if an inmate is physically able to work, he or she must work while in prison. That said, it also means that they do have to file taxes. However, an inmate in jail will probably earn less than the minimum amount required to file (currently $10,300 for single under 65 years old, $11,800 for single over 65, $20,600 for married filing jointly under 65, and $4,000 for married filing separately).
Also, any income that was received from outside of prison (dividends, interest, other investment income) is also taxable and counts towards the above limits.
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