David Lerner Associates News: Seniors, Do You Have to File a 2013 Tax Return?

David Lerner Associates News: Seniors, Do You Have to File a 2013 Tax Return?

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2014-03-12

seniors at tax time

 

Many Americans are dreading the upcoming April 15 tax-filing deadline, but for some seniors, April 15 might just be another day on the calendar. Depending on the amount of their gross income, their filing status and their age, some seniors might not have to file a federal income tax return this year.

In a nutshell, if your 2013 gross income is lower than the amount listed in your filing status, there’s a chance you won’t have to file a federal return this year. Gross income includes all the income you received last year that is not tax-exempt, not including Social Security benefits, unless you are married and file separately.

The 2013 IRS federal income tax filing requirements are as follows:

• Single — You must file if your gross income is at least $10,000, or $11,500 if you're 65 years of age or older by January 1, 2014.

• Married filing jointly — You must file if your gross income is at least $20,000, or $21,200 if you or your spouse is 65 years of age or older, or $22,400 if you're both over 65 years of age.

• Married filing separately — You must file if your gross income is at least $3,900, regardless of your age.

• Head of household — You must file if your gross income is at least $12,850, or $14,350 if you’re 65 years of age or older.

• Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child — You must file if your gross income is at least $16,100, or $17,300 if you’re 65 years of age or older.

You should note, however, that in some situations, you may have to file a federal income tax return even if your gross income is lower than these thresholds. These situations include earning $400 or more in self-employment income and owing special taxes like the alternative minimum tax (AMT) or IRA tax penalties.

The IRS offers a free online resource that can help you determine if you have to file a federal income tax return this year. Click here to access this resource, which will ask you a series of questions to help you determine if you need to file or not, or if you’re due a tax refund (in which case you will need to file to receive it). Or you can call the IRS help line at (800) 829-1040(800) 829-1040(800) 829-1040(800) 829-1040 for assistance, or get in-person help at a Taxpayer Assistance Center. Click here or call (800) 829-1040(800) 829-1040(800) 829-1040(800) 829-1040 to find a center located near you.

Also note that not having to file a federal income tax return doesn’t necessarily exempt you from having to file a state income tax return. You should check with your state tax agency to determine if you are required to file a 2013 state return. Click here to find a link to your state and local tax agency — click on the State Agencies/Links button in the left column when you arrive.

You can get more details on federal filing requirements by downloading the Tax Guide for Seniors (Publication 554) here. If you prefer, you can call the IRS at (800) 829-3676(800) 829-3676(800) 829-3676(800) 829-3676, and ask them to mail you a free copy of this guide.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax advice. You should consult with a tax professional for guidance in your specific situation.

Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. Member FINRA & SIPC

 

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Tags: seniors, taxes, return, IRS, David Lerner Associates

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About

Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates 1-800-367-3000  http://www.davidlerner.com

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Contact

Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
Zimmerman/Edelson
516.829.8374 X 232
jmendlinger@zimmed.com

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