When Can You Stop Filing Taxes
Written by webtechs

When Can You Stop Filing Taxes?

Individuals can stop filing income taxes at age 65 if the following qualifications are met:

  • You are an unmarried senior making less than $14,250.
  • You are a married senior who is filing jointly and making less than $26,450.
  • You are a qualifying widow earning less than $26,450.

The IRS wants everyone to file a tax return when their gross income surpasses the total of the standard deduction for their filing status, in addition to one exemption amount. These specific filing rules still apply to senior citizens currently living on their Social Security. However, seniors do not consider their Social Security income as gross income. You do not need to file a tax return if Social Security is your only source of income.

When Must Seniors File Taxes?

For the tax year 2021, seniors must file taxes if unmarried, at least 65 years old and gross income was $14,250 or more. If you live on your Social Security benefits, however, you do not include this in your gross income. If these benefits are the sole income you receive, then your gross income amounts to zero, meaning you will not have to file a federal income tax return. If you do earn additional income that is not exempt from being taxed, you must determine whether or not that total exceeds $14,250.

In previous tax years, these amounts were based on the year’s standard deduction, in addition to the exemption amount for both your age and filing status. For tax years after 2018, only the standard deduction is applied. This is because exemptions are no longer used in calculating your taxable income.

You must file a return if your gross income is $27,800 or more if you and your spouse are at least 65 years old and filing jointly. If your spouse is under age 65, the threshold amount goes down to $26,450. Be aware that these income thresholds apply to the 2018 tax year and they typically increase each year.

When To Include Social Security In Your Gross Income

There are a few circumstances that call for seniors to add Social Security benefits to their gross income. If you are married and filing an individual tax return while residing with your spouse during the year, 85% of your benefits are considered gross income. This may require you filing a tax return as a result.

Tax Credits For Seniors

There are several ways to decrease the amount of tax you will pay on your taxable income, even if you have to file a tax return. As long as you are at least 65 years old and have income from a source(s) other than Social Security that is not too large, then tax credits for seniors, the elderly and disabled, can lower your tax bill using a dollar-for-dollar arrangement. This tax credit, though, only comes in handy when you owe tax to the IRS.

What Age Do You Stop Paying Taxes On Social Security?

You are eligible to stop paying taxes on Social Security when you are age 65 and your income is not too high.

TurboTax says, “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. However, this tax credit is only useful when you actually owe tax to the IRS.”

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