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Income Tax- Who Must File in 2016 Over Age 65- Part 2

As discussed in the previous post an individual must file an income tax return for tax year 2015 depending upon filing status and gross income. The following will discuss additional factors in determining the necessity for filing. Again, please note that whether an must file an income tax return for tax year 2015 is different from whether an individual should file an income tax return.

Assuming you are 65 years or older, you must determine if your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent. If you can be claimed as a dependent and you file as single then you must file a return if any of the following apply:

  • Your unearned income was more than $4,150.00.
  • Your earned income was more than $9,400.00.
  • Your gross income was more than the larger of—
    a. $4,150.00, or
  • b.Your earned income (up to $5,950.00) plus $3,450.00.

If you can be claimed as a dependent and you file as married then you must file a return if any of the following apply:

  • Your gross income was at least $5.00 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions.
  • 2. Your unearned income was more than $3,550.00.
  • 3. Your earned income was more than $8,800.00.
  • 4. Your gross income was more than the larger of—
    a. $3,550.00, or
  • b. Your earned income (up to $5,950.00) plus $2,850.00.

For the purpose of calculating the above, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income. i

To be continued….
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.

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