Social Security Income and Federal Income Tax Returns

Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 12:05 pm
For the last several years when BBB has gone to have her taxes prepared, the preparer has done the work and then said that her income does not exceed the limit that requires filing of a federal tax return.

Each year she continues to file form 4868 for a 6-month extension of time then takes her papers to the tax preparer to have her taxes done. Each time, she is told she is not required to file a tax return because her income does not exceed the limit.

I've been reading on the Social Security Administration website and the IRS website to find information that tells me whether she needs to continue filing form 4868 for an extension and then take her papers to a tax preparer every year if her income has not changed from year-to-year when previously she has not been required to file.

She insists that she still needs to repeat this every year. I am going in circles trying to explain to her that as long as her income does not increase, she no longer is required to apply for tax return extensions or to have her tax return prepared for filing, all she needs to do is check to see if her income levels have changed from the prior year and if not, she doesn't need to do any of this.

I can not find anything on either of the two government websites to help me explain this to her. The problem is they only address how to calculate each current year's tax liability and whether an income tax return is required to be filed. It says nothing about whether, in subsequent years, you need to repeat the cycle if your income has not changed from prior years when you were not required.

Here is a link to the info on the IRS site.


and here's a link to publication 915


Any assistance, clarification, etc, would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 12:16 pm
I'm not sure exactly what added reassurance BBB needs so I hate to frustrate her further with an 'unofficial word' but I was likewise told by an accountant I needn't file a return nor request extensions, either.

I also receive the same benefits (SSDI) and have an income under the income thresh-hold. I can't point to exactly where on IRS website in the income guidelines but it does advise there's no need to file. If all else fails, call IRS telephone support and get in a phone queue. I believe they'll tell you there's no need to file.

FWIW, I have not filed in 3 yrs. since I've been receiving the benefits.
Reply Fri 12 Apr, 2013 12:20 pm
I think that hearing that others are enjoying the same reprieve from filing tax extensions and tax returns will go a long way toward reassuring her.

Thanks for adding yours.
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Reply Mon 19 Aug, 2013 09:25 am
IRS Publication 501 contains the filing requirements chart.
Taxpayers with incomes that are less than the limits shown are not required to file tax returns.
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