Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 11, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 11, 2017 



Dear Savvy Senior,

What are the IRS income tax filing requirements 
for retirees this tax season? My income dropped 
way down when I retired last year in 2016, so I’m 
wondering if I need to even file a tax return this year.

New Retiree

Dear New,

There are several factors that affect whether or not 
you need to file a federal income tax return this 
year including how much you earned last year (in 
2016), and the source of that income, as well as your 
age and filing status. 

 Here’s a rundown of this tax season’s (2016) 
IRS tax filing requirement thresholds. For most 
people, this is pretty straightforward. If your 2016 
gross income – which includes all taxable income, 
not counting your Social Security benefits, unless 
you are married and filing separately – was below 
the threshold for your filing status and age, you 
probably won’t have to file. But if it’s over, you will. 

 Single: $10,350 ($11,900 if you’re 65 or older by 
Jan. 1, 2017).

 Married filing jointly: $20,700 ($21,950 if you or 
your spouse is 65 or older; or $23,200 if you’re both 
over 65). 

 Married filing separately: $4,050 at any age.

 Head of household: $13,350 ($14,900 if age 65 or 

 Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: 
$16,650 ($17,900 if age 65 or older).

 To get a detailed breakdown on federal filing 
requirements, along with information on taxable 
and nontaxable income, call the IRS at 800-829-
3676 and ask them to mail you a free copy of the 
“Tax Guide for Seniors” (publication 554), or see 

Special Circumstances

There are, however, some other financial situations 
that will require you to file a tax return, even 
if your gross income falls below the IRS filing 
requirement. For example, if you had earnings from 
self-employment in 2016 of $400 or more, or if you 
owe any special taxes to the IRS such as alternative 
minimum tax or IRA tax penalties, you’ll probably 
need to file. 

 To figure this out, the IRS offers an interactive 
tax assistant tool on their website that asks a series 
of questions that will help you determine if you’re 
required to file, or if you should file because you’re 
due a refund. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

 You can access this tool at – click 
on “Do you need to file a return?” under the Get 
Ready tab. Or, you can get assistance over the 
phone by calling the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040. 
You can also get face-to-face help at a Taxpayer 
Assistance Center. See or call 
800-829-1040 to locate a center near you. 

Check Your State

Even if you’re not required to file a federal tax 
return this year, don’t assume that you’re also 
excused from filing state income taxes. The rules 
for your state might be very different. Check with 
your state tax agency before concluding that you’re 
entirely in the clear. For links to state tax agencies 

Tax Preparation Help 

If you find that you do need to file a tax return this 
year, you can get help through the Tax Counseling 
for the Elderly (or TCE) program. Sponsored by 
the IRS, TEC provides free tax preparation and 
counseling to middle and low-income taxpayers, 
age 60 and older. Call 800-906-9887 or visit IRS. to locate a service near 

 Also check with AARP, a participant in the TCE 
program that provides free tax preparation at more 
than 5,000 sites nationwide. To locate an AARP 
Tax-Aide site call 888-227-7669 or visit
findtaxhelp. You don’t have to be an AARP member 
to use this service.


Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. 
Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today 
show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …February Birthdays*

Beatrice DaRe, Cathrine Adde, Hilda Pittman, Anne-Marie Stockdale, Susan 
Henderson, Peter Lippincott, Georgia Lippincott, Allie Attay, Ursula El-Tawansy, 
Gladys Moser, Sylvia Lorhan, Ana Ptanski, Winifred Swanson , Marian DeMars, 
Vickie Vernon, Mary Beth Knox, Sharon Lefler, Gordon Caldwell. 

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. 
to 11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to 
join. May be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is 

Brain Games: Thursday, January 19th, 10:30a.m. - 11:30a.m., improve your memory and 
strengthen your brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, January 25th from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem 
Makupson is available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, 
and Injury. Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Sing-A-Long: Music brings joy to the soul! Come join us Thursday, January 12th, 10:30a.m. to 
11:30a.m. No music skills needed! 

Senior Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. Third Monday 
of each month, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and 
welcomed. A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required. 

Case Management: Case Management services are provided by the YWCA and provide assistance 
in a variety of areas. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Hart Park 
House Office at 626-355-7394.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club.

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00p.m. (Please note the time change.) A regular group of 
Seniors play poker. Other games are available for use. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. 
The class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: