Have you been wondering, “Do I need to file taxes? Is there a minimum income level requirement to file taxes?”

Federal tax filing requirements for those 65 and older can look different than for those under 65. 

In general, taxpayers are not required to file a federal tax return if their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is less than the Standard Deduction, including the extra deduction for those over 65 and/or blind. It is important to remember that AGI does not include tax-exempt income nor the non-taxable portion of Social Security benefits. Therefore, although household gross income may exceed the Standard Deduction, AGI may be significantly less.  

To determine the taxable portion of Social Security benefits, add gross income (excluding Social Security benefits) and tax-exempt income and compare the total to the brackets below.  

  • Total Income is less than $25,000 single/$32,000 joint: 0% of Social Security is taxable.
  • Total Income is between $25,000 and $34,000 single/$32,000 and $44,000 joint: up to 50% of Social Security is taxable.
  • Total Income is greater than $34,000 single/$44,000 joint: up to 85% of Social Security is taxable.

Other Considerations:

  • State tax filing requirements may differ than the federal filing requirement.
  • Tax filing is necessary to claim a refund of tax payments or to claim a refundable tax credit, like the Wisconsin Homestead Credit.