Retirement & Taxes:

New Special Rules for Senior Citizens

Following is a list of special rules that apply to senior citizens only:

  • If you are 65 or older as of January 1, 2000, you are eligible to receive a higher standard deduction on your tax return, assuming that you choose to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing your deductions. Single senior citizens can claim an additional $1,050 on their 1999 tax return. Those that are married or qualified widow(ers) can claim an additional $850.
  • If you are single as well as age 65 or older as of January 1, 2000, you are only required to file a tax return if your gross income exceeds $8,100. If you are married and both you and your spouse are age 65 or older, a joint return is only required to be filed if your combined gross income exceeds $14,400. If only one of you is over the age of 65, your combined gross income must be $13,550 or more in order for you to be required to file a tax return.
  • For married couples filing jointly, none of your net Social Security benefits are taxable in 1999 as long as your income is not more than $32,000. If your filing status is single, head of household, qualifying widow(er) or you are married filing separately and did not live with your spouse at anytime during 1999, your Social Security benefits are not taxable as long as you did not make more than $25,000 in gross income. Married persons who live together but file separately are not allowed a base amount of gross income from which to determine if they are eligible to have their Social Security benefits deemed as nontaxable.
  • A tax credit may be available to you if you are 65 years of age or older and receive little or no Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. This credit may be available to those under the age of 65, but only if they are totally disabled. If you do receive Social Security benefits, you may only be eligible for the credit if you are single and receive less than $417 each month from Social Security. If you are married and file jointly, you cannot use the credit if you receive more than $625 each month combined from Social Security.