Dear Savvy Senior
My income dropped way off when I retired early last year, and I’m wondering if I fall into the so called “47 percent” of Americans who won’t have to pay any income taxes this year. What can you tell me?
The percentage of seniors, age 65 and older, who won’t have to pay income taxes this year, is actually around 56 percent according the Tax Policy Center. Here’s a breakdown of the 2012 filing requirements along with a few other tax tips to help you determine if you need to file.
Whether or not you’ll need to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on your filing status, your age, and your gross income. If your gross income falls below the IRS filing limits, you probably won’t have to file. Gross income includes all the income you receive that is not exempt from tax, not including Social Security benefits, unless you are married and filing separately. You probably don’t have to file this year if:
• You are single and your 2012 gross income was less than $9,750 ($11,200 if you’re 65 or older).
• You are married filing jointly and your gross income was under $19,500. If you or your spouse is 65 or older, the limit increases to $20,650. And if you’re both over 65, your income must be under $21,800 to not file.
• You are head of household and your gross income was below $12,500 ($13,950 if age 65 or older).
• You are married filing separately and your income was less than $3,800.
• You are a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child and your gross income was less than $15,700 ($16,850 if age 65 or older).
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