A Retiree’s Guide to 2016 Tax Requirements

A Retiree’s Guide to 2016 Tax Requirements

It’s hard to believe, but Tax Day is just around the corner, leaving many retirees to wonder if they need to file their taxes this year. We know that the filing process can be overwhelming and unenjoyable for many taxpayers, and many retirees aren’t sure of whether or not they need to file.

For those retirees, including our residents at The Villages at Two Rivers, we’ve pulled together the following guide to help determine whether 2016 taxes need to be filed:

Determine your 2015 gross income. Your gross income includes all taxable income, not counting benefits from Social Security.

Determine your status. Your options are: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.

Compare your gross income to the threshold for your status. If your 2015 gross income was below the threshold for your status, you likely will not have to file taxes in 2016. However, if your 2015 gross income was higher than the threshold for your status, you will have to file. The thresholds for each status are below:

– Single: $11,850 if you’re 65 or older by January 1, 2016

– Married filing jointly: $23,100 if you and your spouse are both over the age of 65, and $21,850 if either you or your spouse is 65 or older

– Married filing separately: $4,000, at any age

– Head of household: $14,800 if over the age of 65

– Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: $17,850 if over the age of 65

Don’t forget about your state! Even if you’re exempt from filing a 2016 federal tax return, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re exempt from filing your state return. Residents at The Villages of Two Rivers can check the filing requirements for Maryland, here.

Ask for additional assistance: There’s an abundance of resources for retirees who need more information about whether or not they should file their 2016 taxes. The IRS sponsors a program called Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), which can provide free counseling and tax preparation for taxpayers over the age of 60! Or, you can visit an AARP Tax-Aide center, which offers free tax preparation to taxpayers over the age of 50. Residents at The Villages at Two Rivers have a Tax-Aide location conveniently located in the Crofton Library!

SOURCE: Grayson County News Gazette, Internal Revenue Service, AARP