Tax Return 2021

Do seniors have to file a federal tax return 2021?

With tax filing season in full swing, here’s details on the upper age limit for filing. Also how to file your taxes for free online.

Do seniors have to file a federal tax return 2021?
JOSEPH PREZIOSO AFP

Do seniors have to file federal taxes?

For tax year 2020, for which the deadline to file in 15 April 2021, many seniors over the age of 65 do not have to file a tax return. If Social Security is your sole source of income, then you don't need to file a tax return, says Turbo Tax.

The exceptions to this are as follows, if you are over 65 and…

  • you are unmarried and your gross income is $14,050 or more - social security is not included in income
  • you are married, filing jointly and your combined gross income is $27,400 or more - social security is not included in income.
  • if your spouse is under 65 years old, then the threshold amount decreases to $26,100

If any of the above apply to you, then you do need to file a tax return.

If you’re a senior and do need to file a tax return, Turbo Tax advise that 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.

What is "IRS Free File?"

The IRS Free File Program provides two ways for taxpayers to prepare and file their federal income tax online for free:

Traditional IRS Free File provides free online tax preparation and filing options on IRS partner sites. IRS partners are online tax preparation companies that develop and deliver this service at no cost to qualifying taxpayers. Please note, only taxpayers whose Adjusted Gross Income (or AGI) is $72,000 or less qualify for any IRS Free File partner offers.

Free File Fillable Forms are electronic federal tax forms you can fill out and file online for free. If you choose this option, you should know how to prepare your own tax return. Please note, it is the only IRS Free File option available for taxpayers whose AGI is greater than $72,000.

Required documentation to file your tax return

Personal information

  • A copy of last year's tax return in order to access your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
  • Valid Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and any dependent, if applicable

Proving your AGI: income and receipts

 
  • Social Security benefits documentation
  • Unemployment Compensation documentation
  • All receipts pertaining to your small business, if applicable
  • Income receipts from rental, real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporation, trusts