Do Retirees Need To File Taxes


Share post:

How Will Your Social Security Be Taxed

You are NOT Required to File a Tax Return in These Situations

If a portion of your Social Security benefit is taxable, there’s no avoiding the federal income tax. But you won’t pay taxes based on your entire Social Security benefit. Instead, you will pay taxes on 50% or 85% of your total Social Security amount.

If you’re a single filer with an income between $25,001 and $34,000, you’ll pay taxes on 50% of your Social Security benefits. But as a single filer who has a total income of more than $34,000, you’ll pay taxes on 85% of your Social Security benefits.

Exceptions to This Rule

Every rule has an exception. In this case, filers in certain states need to be aware of their state’s tax requirements.

There are 12 states that tax Social Security benefits. These include Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia. However, almost every one of these states allows for some kind of deduction, credit or income limit to minimize the tax burden at a state level.

New Mexico doesn’t provide a way to minimize the burden. Instead, you’ll pay state taxes on all of the Social Security income taxed at a federal level.

Find Out If You Need To File Missteps Can Be Expensive

Retirees may need to file a tax return if they meet certain income thresholds.

  • Print icon
  • Resize icon

Not all seniors need to file a tax return, but others may incorrectly think they fall in this category dont make that mistake.

Retirement Tip of the Week: If you dont plan to file a tax return this year, make sure youre not required to do so. Failing to file leads to penalties.

Single seniors need to file a tax return if theyre at least 65 years old and have gross income of $14,250 or more, according to the Internal Revenue Service. For seniors who are married where both spouses are 65 or older, they must file a return if their gross income was at least $27,800, and for couples where only one spouse is 65 or older, that amount is $26,450. Qualifying widowers who are 65 or older must have gross income of at least $26,450 to file a return, and for heads of household, the threshold is $20,500.

Read:Do I need to file a tax return if most of my income is Social Security?

Gross income includes any money that isnt exempt from taxes. It is important to know what retirement income is taxable for example, Social Security benefits may be taxable depending on your total income, and withdrawals from traditional IRAs are taxable whereas those from Roth IRAs are typically not . Generally, retirees do not need to file a tax return if Social Security benefits are their sole source of retirement income, the IRS said.

When Does A Senior Citizen On Social Security Stop Filing Taxes


The IRS typically requires you to file a tax return when your gross income exceeds the standard deduction for your filing status. These filing rules still apply to senior citizens who are living on Social Security benefits. However, if Social Security is your sole source of income, then you don’t need to file a tax return.

Key Takeaways

If the only income you receive is your Social Security benefits, then you typically don’t have to file a federal income tax return.

If you are at least 65, unmarried, and receive $14,250 or more in non-exempt income in addition to your Social Security benefits, you typically must file a federal income tax return .

If you are 65, married, and file a joint return with a spouse who is also 65 or older, you typically must file a return if your non-exempt income is $27,800 or more .

If the sum of half your Social Security plus your adjusted gross income plus your tax-exempt interest and dividends exceeds $25,000 for single filers , then a portion of your Social Security benefits are included in gross income and you might need to file a tax return.

Read Also: Tax Credits For Electric Vehicles

Tax Credit For Seniors

Even if you must file a tax return, there are ways you can reduce the amount of tax you have to pay on your taxable income. As long as you are at least 65 years old and your income from sources other than Social Security is not high, then the tax credit for the elderly or disabled can reduce your tax bill on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.

Do Retirees Have To File Income Tax Returns

When Can You File Your Taxes This Year? (Hint: It

By Top Tax Staff | Feb 19, 2013 7:00:00 AM | Tax Credits and Deductions

Some taxpayers may feel that once they stop earning a regular wage that won’t need to file an income tax return. However, there are some tax situations that face older individuals that may still require them to file a federal tax return. The key is understanding the tax filing requirements for retirees so that you can make sure you comply with the tax law.

Read Also: What Do You Need To Do Your Taxes

Calculating Your Tax Rate

Your tax rate in retirement will depend on the total amount of your taxable income and your deductions. List each type of income and how much will be taxable to estimate your tax rate. Add that up, then reduce that number by your expected deductions for the year.

For example, suppose that you’re married and filing a joint return with your spouse. You have $20,000 in Social Security income and $25,000 a year in pension income, and you expect to withdraw $15,000 from your IRA. You estimate that you’ll have $5,000 per year in long-term capital gains income from mutual fund distributions.

Your total income, not including capital gains and before Social Security benefits, is $40,000 . Your total income is $45,000 when you add in capital gains.

At $45,000, you’ll be taxed on up to 85% of your Social Security benefits. This doesn’t mean 85% exactly, because it’s a formula, so it may be less. Based on all of this information, you’ll pay taxes on $15,350 of your Social Security benefits. That means your income will be $60,350 .

You can type all of this information into a tax calculator to better understand how much you’ll pay in taxes.

Your standard deduction for 2021the tax return you file in 2022would be $25,100 as a married couple filing jointly. This increases to $25,900 in tax year 2022.

Do I Need To File A Tax Return If Most Of My Income Is Social Security

  • Order Reprints

This article originally appeared on .

Recently we received the following email from a reader:

I would like to know if I live off my Social Security check and have no other income must I file a federal tax return? I have a yearly income of $21,000. My living and medical expenses takes up most of that. I really appreciate any advice you can give me on this matter.

The short answer is probably not. But of course, there are always mitigating circumstances for each situation, so it pays to look more closely into this to qualify the answer.

As long as the only income that the individual receives is from Social Security and there is no tax withheld from those payments, most likely filing a tax return is not necessary. But there may be other matters at work that might require you to file a tax return anyhow.

Newsletter Sign-up


Barrons brings retirement planning and advice to you in a weekly wrap-up of our articles about preparing for life after work.

If you have had any tax withheld, either from the Social Security payments, or from any other source, including quarterly estimated tax payments or carried over refunds from prior years, you should file a tax return. In many cases youll get most if not all of the withheld tax back in a refund.

If you were due an Economic Impact Payment in 2021 but didnt receive it, filing a tax return will enable you to claim this payment as a Recovery Rebate Credit.

Write to

Don’t Miss: When Is The Last Day To Turn In Taxes

Expat Retirement Taxes On Foreign Pensions

If you have a foreign pension, it will most likely not qualify for the same retirement vehicle tax benefits as a U.S.-based 401 or IRA. Your contributions arent typically tax-deductible on your U.S. income taxes, and you may actually be taxed on the plans annual growth regardless if youre taking distributions or not. Additionally, employer contributions for foreign pension plans may also be considered taxable in contribution years.

The U.S. does have tax treaties with specific countries that have special rules on foreign pension taxes. For example, if youre a U.S. citizen with a foreign pension in the U.K., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, or Belgium, youve got a tax treaty that basically allows your foreign pension to be taxed the same as a U.S. retirement plan.

Canada Revenue Agency Gives Retirees Reason To File Taxes On Time With Automatic Benefit Registrations

3 Things You Can Do Now To Cut Taxes In Retirement.

This article was published more than 3 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.

The Canada Revenue Agency website is shown in this April 17, 2019, image.Doug Ives/The Canadian Press

This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to fret about filing their income tax forms with Canada Revenue Agency by April 30.

Of course, there are many reasons to file on time such as avoiding expensive late fees and receiving tax refunds promptly.

For retired people, the CRA has an extra reason to finish their taxes on time the potential to boost their monthly income or, on the flip side, to avoid a reduction in government payments.

Thats because the federal tax collector checks seniors returns to see if theyre receiving old age security and eligible for a guaranteed income supplement .

Employment and Social Development Canada estimates 10 per cent of eligible seniors didnt receive their GIS payments in 2016-17, the most recent information available.

Since then, the government has attempted to increase public awareness and reduce missed opportunities.

Elizabeth Mulholland, chief executive of Prosper Canada a national charity dedicated to helping Canadians living in poverty says GIS payments may be small but they can make a big difference.

For seniors who are quite low-income, its an important additional source of income, Mulholland says.

Don’t Miss: Do You Have To Pay Taxes On Inheritance

Taxes On Iras And 401s

Once you start taking out income from a traditional IRA, you owe tax on the earnings portion of those withdrawals at your regular income tax rate. If you deducted any portion of your contributions, you’ll owe tax at the same rate on the full amount of each withdrawal. You can find instructions for calculating what you owe in IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements.

If you have a Roth IRA, you’ll pay no tax at all on your earnings as they accumulate or when you withdraw following the rules. But you must have the account for at least five years before you qualify for tax-free provisions on earnings and interest.

When you receive income from your traditional 401, 403 or 457 salary reduction plans, you’ll owe income tax on those amounts. This income, which is produced by the combination of your contributions, any employer contributions and earnings on the contributions, is taxed at your regular ordinary rate. Keep in mind that withdrawals of contributions and earnings from Roth 401 accounts are not taxed provided the withdrawal meets IRS requirements.

Taxes On Pension Income

You have to pay income tax on your pension and on withdrawals from any tax-deferred investmentssuch as traditional IRAs, 401s, 403s and similar retirement plans, and tax-deferred annuitiesin the year you take the money. The taxes that are due reduce the amount you have left to spend.

You will owe federal income tax at your regular rate as you receive the money from pension annuities and periodic pension payments. But if you take a direct lump-sum payout from your pension instead, you must pay the total tax due when you file your return for the year you receive the money. In either case, your employer will withhold taxes as the payments are made, so at least some of what’s due will have been prepaid. If you transfer a lump sum directly to an IRA, taxes will be deferred until you start withdrawing funds.

Smart Tip: Taxes on Pension Income Vary by StateIts a good idea to check the different state tax rules on pension income. Some states do not tax pension payments while others doand that can influence people to consider moving when they retire. States cant tax pension money you earned within their borders if youve moved your legal residence to another state. For instance, if you worked in Minnesota, but now live in Florida, which has no state income tax, you dont owe any Minnesota income tax on the pension you receive from your former employer.

You May Like: Sales Tax And Use Texas

Imrf Financial Reports And Documents

IMRF’s 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and Detailed List of 2021 Investments are available on IMRF’s Annual Financial Reports page. Your auditor will need these documents if your employer follows Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in its financial reporting. Additional reports and schedules are available in the “Display Annual Documents” section of Employer Access.

Gains Upon The Sale Of Your Home

Do Retirees Still Need to Pay Income Tax?

You most likely won’t pay taxes on gains from the sale of your home if you’ve lived there for at least two years, unless you have gains in excess of $250,000 if you’re single, or $500,000 if you’re married. The rules get more complex if you rented your home out for a while, so you might want to work with a tax professional to determine whether and how you should report any gains.

Recommended Reading: Free Irs Approved Tax Preparation Courses

Real Tax Experts On Demand With Turbotax Live Basic

Get unlimited advice and an expert final review. Done right, guaranteed.

  • Estimate your tax refund andwhere you stand

  • Know how much to withhold from your paycheck to get

  • Estimate your self-employment tax and eliminate

  • Know which dependents credits and deductions

  • Estimate capital gains, losses, and taxes for cryptocurrency sales

  • See which education credits and deductions you qualify for

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

Do I Need To File A Tax Return

You may not have to file a federal income tax return if your income is below a certain amount. But, you must file a tax return to claim a refundable tax credit or a refund for withheld income tax. Find out if you have to file a tax return.

If you find out you need to file a tax return, learn how the process works, when your return is due, and more.

Read Also: When Is Tax Returns Due

Do You Have To File A Tax Return

Based on the IRS draft instructions for the Form 1040 that well all be filing for 2021 in April 2022, Id say you probably wont be required to file a federal income tax return.

Each year, the 1040 instructions include a chart to help people understand whether they need to file a federal return. For 2021, the instructions say single people need to file a tax return if their gross income was at least $12,550 and theyre younger than 65, or $14,250 if theyre older than 65. So if your income was from a wage-earning job or self-employment, youd likely have to file.

But the instructions also say that as a single person you dont have to include your Social Security benefits in your gross income unless half of your Social Security income, plus your other gross income and tax-exempt interest, is more than $25,000. Dropping half your Social Security from your income calculation leaves you with just $11,900 of gross income well below the required threshold to file. But as well see in a moment, just because you dont have to file a tax return, doesnt mean you shouldnt file one anyway.

What Do I Do If I No Longer Need To Complete A Self Assessment Return

Filing Taxes 101: Everything You NEED to Know

We explain what to do if you think you no longer need to complete a Self Assessment tax return in the tax basics section.

If you are no longer within Self Assessment, but think you are due a tax refund, you may need to claim a repayment of tax each year. If you think this applies to you, take a look at How do I claim tax back?.

Read Also: When Are Llc Taxes Due

Should I File A Tax Return Even If Im Not Technically Required To

There are some cases where its advisable to file a tax return anyway, even if you could legally decline.

First, if you had federal income tax withheld from your pay, or if you made estimated tax payments, you should file in order to get any surplus withholding refunded back to you.

Second, there are a few tax that can give you a refund even if you didnt make enough income to file. These are called refundable credits. Nonrefundable credits can only apply against taxes you owe.

  • Earned Income Tax Credit You could qualify for the EIC if you worked a low-income job. Your credit amount will depend on income level, filing status and how many dependents you claim.
  • Child Tax Credit If you have a qualifying child, the full Child Tax Credit is now refundable.
  • Additional Child Tax Credit This credit could be available if you have at least one qualifying child and you didnt receive the full amount from the Child Tax Credit.
  • American Opportunity Credit Students in their first four years of postsecondary education could qualify for this credit, up to $1,000 of which is refundable.

With these credits, you have to file in order to receive the benefit.

Related articles

Is It Better To File Taxes Jointly

The Tax Benefits Of Marriage: ...

The Last Day To File Taxes

How To File Your Taxes ...

How To File Self Employed Taxes

Pay Your Income And Self ...

If You File Taxes Late What Happens

Irsgov Irs Online Account Provide Free Help ...