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Owner and website manager contact information for seniorstring.com is Kathy@seniorstring.com



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By Christine Sat Apr 18th 2015 at 5:19 pm  

“If you are unmarried senior citizen at least 65 years of age, then you must file an income tax return if your gross income is $11,500 or more. However, Social Security benefits are not included in gross income determination. If this is the only income you receive, then your gross income equals zero. If you do earn other income, then you must determine whether the total exceeds $11,500.”

Hello Kathy: This excerpt from the website states that SS benefits “are NOT included” in total gross income. I have NOT found this to be the case, as the 1040 tax return includes a line item (in 2014, line 20a) that indicates otherwise. Also, my tax preparer has always included a portion called out in 20b as the “taxable amount”. Can you please clarify this apparent discrepancy? (if my misunderstanding involves a threshold amount then I think the web statement could be written more clearly)
Thank You

By Kathy Cowan Wed Apr 22nd 2015 at 1:50 pm  

Thank you Christine. The extract number changed slightly from prior year. Threshold is now $11,700. The statement regarding benefits not being taxable was for those whose income is solely social security. I have found the below that provides more detail and clarification and I have replaced this info on the website. I really appreciate your input.

If the only income you received during 2014 was your social security or the SSEB portion of tier 1 railroad retirement benefits, your benefits generally are not taxable and you probably do not have to file a return. If you have income in addition to your benefits, you may have to file a return even if none of your benefits are taxable.
Worksheet 2-B.A Quick Way To Check if Your Benefits May Be Taxable

A. Enter the amount from box 5 of all your Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099. Include
the full amount of any lump-sum benefit payments received in 2014, for 2014 and
earlier years. (If you received more than one form, combine the amounts from box 5
and enter the total.) A.
Note. If the amount on line A is zero or less, stop here; none of your benefits are
taxable this year.
B. Enter one-half of the amount on line A B.
C. Enter your taxable pensions, wages, interest, dividends, and other taxable income C.
D. Enter any tax-exempt interest income (such as interest on municipal bonds) plus any exclusions from income for:
•Interest from qualified U.S. savings bonds,
•Employer-provided adoption benefits,
•Foreign earned income or foreign housing, or
•Income earned in American Samoa or Puerto Rico by bona fide residents D.
E. Add lines B, C, and D and enter the total E.
F. If you are:
•Married filing jointly, enter $32,000
•Single, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or married filing separately and you
lived apart from your spouse for all of 2014, enter $25,000
•Married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2014,
enter -0- F.
G. Is the amount on line F less than or equal to the amount on line E?
□ No.None of your benefits are taxable this year.
□ Yes.Some of your benefits may be taxable. To figure how much of your benefits
are taxable, see Which worksheet to use under How Much Is Taxable.
Base Amount

Your base amount is:

$25,000 if you are single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child,

$25,000 if you are married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse for all of 2014,

$32,000 if you are married filing jointly, or

$0 if you are married filing separately and lived with your spouse at any time during 2014.

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