Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 10, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 10, 2024 




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 Let us be your trusted partner. Call (626) 999-6913 or visit for a FREE consultation. 
Begin a comfortable, fulfilling senior living journey with Safe Path for Seniors.


Tracy Verhoeven, Beatrice DaRe, Catherine Adde, Hilda Pittman, Anne-
Marie Stockdale, Susan Henderson, Allie Attay, Ursula El-Tawansy, ladys 
Moser, Sylvia Lorhan, Ana Ptanski, Winifred Swanson , Janet Gillespie, 
Marian DeMars, Vickie Vernon, Mary Beth Knox, Sharon Lefler.

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


Dear Savvy Senior:

What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for 
retirees this tax season? I didn’t file a tax return the 
past two years because my income was below the filing 
threshold, but I got a part-time job late last year, so I’m 
wondering if I’m required to file this year.

Retired Worker

Dear Retired:

Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year will depend on how 
much you earned last year (in 2023), as well as the source of the income, your age and filing status.

Here’s a rundown of this tax season’s IRS tax filing requirement thresholds.

For most people, this is pretty straightforward. If your 2023 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: $13,850 ($15,700 if you’re 65 or older by Jan. 1, 2023).

Married filing jointly: $27,700 ($29,200 if you or your spouse is 65 or older; or $30,700 if you’re 
both over 65).

Married filing separately: $5 at any age.

Head of household: $20,800 ($22,650 if 65 or older).

Qualifying surviving spouse: $27,700 ($29,200 if 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 
“1040 and 1040-SR Instructions for Tax Year 2023,” or you can see it online at

Check Here Too

Be aware that there are other financial situations that can require you to file a tax return, even if 
your gross income falls below the IRS filing requirements. For example, if you earned more than 
$400 from self-employment in 2023, owe any taxes on an IRA, Health Savings Account or an 
alternative minimum tax, or get premium tax credits because you, your spouse or a dependent is 
enrolled in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan, you’ll need to file.

You’ll also need to file if you’re receiving Social Security benefits, and one-half of your benefits 
plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest exceeds $25,000, or $32,000 if you’re 
married and filing jointly.

To figure all this out, the IRS offers an online tax tool 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 
less than 15 minutes to complete.

You can access this tool at – click on “Do I Need to File a Tax Return?” Or you 
can get assistance over the phone by calling the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040.

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 see

Tax Preparation Help

If you find that you do need to file a tax return this year, you can free file through the IRS at IRS.
gov/FreeFile if your 2023 adjusted gross income was below $79,000.

Or, if you need some help, contact the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (or TCE) program. 
Sponsored by the IRS, TCE provides free tax preparation and counseling to middle and low-
income taxpayers, age 60 and older. Call 800-906-9887 or visit to 
locate services near you.

You can also get tax preparation assistance through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide service. Call 
888-227-7669 or visit for more information. 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.

VALENTINE BINGO – Thursday, February 15 12:30pm-2:30pm, $7 per 
person and fee includes light lunch and prizes. Registration opens on 2/1 and 
closes on 2/12. Payment is due at the time of registration.


PAPER QUILL HEART CRAFT – Monday, February 26th beginning at 
1:0pm. All materials will be provided and space is limited, please call to 
reserve your spot.


REAL ESTATE PLANNING – Come listen to a panel of expert professionals 
who support seniors and their families with their housing and real estate needs. 
Tuesday, February 13th from 1:30pm-2:30pm. Light snacks and beverages will 
be served. Reserve your spot today!


SENIOR CINEMA – Wednesday, February 21st, La La Land.


HULA & POLYNESIAN DANCE – Thursday 10:00am-11:00am in the 
Memorial Park pavilion and Friday 10:00am-11:00am in the Hart Park House.


CHAIR YOGA – Every Monday and Wednesday 10:00am-10:45am in the 
Hart Park House.


BOOK CLUB – Wednesday, February 14 & 28 9:00am-9:45am in the Hart 
Park House.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Often, I get agitated by people 
I call "idiots." I don't have an 
inclusive definition for what 
an idiot really is; I just use the word carelessly.

Especially is this true when I'm out in the 
neighborhood driving around. Sometimes, 
I'm in such a nervous frenzy when I get 
home, I have to sit down and drink some 
coffee. Often it takes 3 cups of coffee just to 
get my nerves to where they need to be.

Normally, I am a relatively cool, collected 
kind of person. Not much upsets me, and 
I don't get mad very easily. But driving a 
vehicle out in the world today is sometimes 
more than I can handle.

I’m not sure if it’s just my age, but I don’t 
remember so many idiots driving when I was 
younger. Thinking about this for a moment, 
I wonder if somebody thought I was an idiot 
when driving?

Often, on some of these trips, The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage will be along. 
Some driver will do something rather stupid, 
cut in front of me, and I will utter, "What's 
wrong with that idiot?"

I can't remember how often we drove past an 
accident, which probably resulted from some 
idiot driving as idiots drive.

When it comes to idiots out on the highway, 
there is no gender, racial, or age difference. It 
seems that idiots come in all flavors.

Occasionally, while driving down the 
highway, along comes a motorcycle weaving 
in and out and passing us. Sitting in the 
seat of that motorcycle is some old geezer 
laughing and giggling. I wonder if he forgot 
his meds that morning or maybe there was 
something more than coffee in his coffee that 

One thing is sure: they drive like idiots. I 
wonder if there is a training school for idiots?

One time while driving, we had a conversation 
that went along the line of me asking The 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, "How do 
these idiots get a driver's license?"

Looking at me once, she said something to 
the effect, "Those idiots get a driver's license 
the same way you get yours."

I don't know what she meant by that, and I 
never asked her to explain.

Another place idiots are sure to show up is 
in places like Wal-Mart. My warning is, you 
better watch where you walk in Wal-Mart. 
How those cashiers deal with all those idiots 
is above my pay scale.

Recently, The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage and I spent the day traveling for 
some errands we had to do, and boy, the 
idiots were out in full force. Several times, we 
came close to having an accident. The fact 
that we got home safe was a real miracle.

During that drive, I was a little more agitated 
by these idiots than ever before. I just 
complained from one end to the other end 
about all these idiots and why they did so 
many stupid things.

At the height of my ranting, The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage said, "Instead of 
ranting about these idiots, you should be 
thankful for them."

"What? Why would I ever be thankful for 
some idiot?" That was a strange remark even 
for her.

I saw the smile on her face, and I think I heard 
her chuckle, but I'm not quite sure about that. 
Then she said something even stranger. "Just 
think about it. All of these idiots on the road 
make you look good."

I had to stop and think about that one. I 
never thought of it like that, and it took me 
quite a while to process it.

As the silence lengthened, she then said, 
"If it wasn't for all of these idiots driving 
like they do, nobody would recognize what 
a wonderful driver you are. For that you 
should be thankful."

At this point, I wondered if she was 
complimenting me or setting me up for 
something else. I have learned through 
the years that she knows how to control a 

"After all," she said, "you've only had one 
accident in your life and that was when some 
idiot ran into you."

I had to think about that for a moment, and 
then I recalled that accident about ten years 
ago. I was driving down the main street, and 
somebody pulled out from the side street 
without stopping and collided with me. That 
person at the time was on her cell phone and 
didn't see me.

"And think about this," she continued. "If it 
wasn't for idiots driving on the road what in 
the world would lawyers do to make money?"

Believe me that thought never crossed 
my mind, and I had to admit that she had 
something there.

Sometimes, I think all of these idiots out 
there are a hazard to real life. But then, The 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had a 
point. These idiots make the rest of us look 
normal. Nobody would recognize how good 
we are in our driving skills if it wasn't for 

Let me just say, “Thank you idiots.”

Recently I ran across a Bible verse that 
troubled me. It was Proverbs 26:4, “Answer 
not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also 
be like unto him.”

To answer an idiot I have to come down to 
his level, which makes me an idiot. I have a 
higher standard to live by; it is the Word of 

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