At What Age Can Someone Stop Filing Tax Returns?
By Thomas N. Tillery
Q: My grandmother told me that because of her age, 83, she no longer has to file a federal income tax return. Is this true?
The long and the short of it is you must file a tax return if your income is above a certain level. The income amount varies depending on filing status, age and the type of income you receive.
From your question, I will assume your grandmother is single and may not be claimed as a dependant on someone else’s return. If your grandmother’s gross income is above $10,950 (2011) then she will need to file a federal income tax return.
Even if your grandmother is not required to file a federal income tax return based upon income, she will need to file if she is due a tax refund or is eligible for a refundable credit. A refund could result if Federal Income Tax is withheld from distributions from her qualified plans. She may qualify for a refundable credit even if she did not owe any tax.
Other examples that may require her to file a return:
Did she sell her home?
Was she born before July 1, 1937 (age 70 1/2) and not take the minimum required distribution from her qualified retirement plan?
So in other words, whether or not someone has to file a return is based upon their personal situation, not upon age.