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Www FreetaxusaWww freetaxusa Publication 554 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Reminders IntroductionVolunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Www freetaxusa Ordering forms and publications. Www freetaxusa Tax questions. Www freetaxusa What's New Alternative minimum tax exemption increased. Www freetaxusa The AMT exemption amount has increased to $51,900 ($80,800 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $40,400 if married filing separately). Www freetaxusa Earned income credit. Www freetaxusa The maximum amount of income you can earn and still get the credit has increased. Www freetaxusa You may be able to take the credit if you earn less than: $14,340 ($19,680 if married filing jointly), do not have a qualifying child, and are at least 25 years old and under 65, $37,870 ($43,210 if married filing jointly), and you have one qualifying child, $43,038 ($48,378 if married filing jointly), and you have two qualifying children, or $46,227 ($51,567 if married filing jointly), and you have three or more qualifying children. Www freetaxusa For more information, see Earned Income Credit , later. Www freetaxusa Exemption phaseout. Www freetaxusa You lose at least part of the benefit of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. Www freetaxusa For 2013, the phaseout begins at $150,000 for married individuals filing separate returns; $250,000 for single individuals; $275,000 for heads of household; and $300,000 for married individuals filing joint returns or qualifying widow(er)s. Www freetaxusa For more information, see Phaseout of Exemptions in Publication 501. Www freetaxusa Limit on itemized deductions. Www freetaxusa Beginning January 1, 2013, itemized deductions for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes above $150,000 may be reduced. Www freetaxusa See Overall limitation , later. Www freetaxusa Medical and dental expenses. Www freetaxusa Beginning January 1, 2013, taxpayers 65 and older can deduct only the part of their medical and dental expenses that exceed 7. Www freetaxusa 5% of their adjusted gross income (10% for taxpayers under 65). Www freetaxusa Same-sex marriages. Www freetaxusa If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. Www freetaxusa For more information, see Publication 501. Www freetaxusa Reminders Future developments. Www freetaxusa For the latest information about developments related to Publication 554, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. Www freetaxusa irs. Www freetaxusa gov/pub554. Www freetaxusa Tax return preparers. Www freetaxusa Choose your preparer carefully. Www freetaxusa If you pay someone to prepare your return, the preparer is required, under the law, to sign the return and fill in the other blanks in the Paid Preparer's area of your return. Www freetaxusa Remember, however, that you are still responsible for the accuracy of every item entered on your return. Www freetaxusa If there is any underpayment, you are responsible for paying it, plus any interest and penalty that may be due. Www freetaxusa Sale of home by surviving spouse. Www freetaxusa If you are an unmarried widow or widower, you may qualify to exclude up to $500,000 of any gain from the sale or exchange of your main home. Www freetaxusa For more information, see Sale of Home , later. Www freetaxusa Third party designee. Www freetaxusa You can check the “Yes” box in the Third Party Designee area of your return to authorize the IRS to discuss your return with your preparer, a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. Www freetaxusa This allows the IRS to call the person you identified as your designee to answer any questions that may arise during the processing of your return. Www freetaxusa It also allows your designee to perform certain actions. Www freetaxusa See your income tax return instructions for details. Www freetaxusa Employment tax withholding. Www freetaxusa Your wages are subject to withholding for income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax even if you are receiving social security benefits. Www freetaxusa Photographs of missing children. Www freetaxusa The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Www freetaxusa Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Www freetaxusa You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Www freetaxusa Introduction The purpose of this publication is to provide a general overview of selected topics that are of interest to older taxpayers. Www freetaxusa The publication will help you determine if you need to file a return and, if so, what items to report on your return. Www freetaxusa Each topic is discussed only briefly, so you will find references to other free IRS publications that provide more detail on these topics if you need it. Www freetaxusa Table I has a list of questions you may have about filing your federal tax return. Www freetaxusa To the right of each question is the location of the answer in this publication. Www freetaxusa Also, at the back of this publication there is an index to help you search for the topic you need. Www freetaxusa While most federal income tax laws apply equally to all taxpayers, regardless of age, there are some provisions that give special treatment to older taxpayers. Www freetaxusa The following are some examples. Www freetaxusa Higher gross income threshold for filing. Www freetaxusa You must be age 65 or older at the end of the year to get this benefit. Www freetaxusa You are considered age 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. Www freetaxusa Therefore, you are considered age 65 at the end of the year if your 65th birthday is on or before January 1 of the following year. Www freetaxusa Higher standard deduction. Www freetaxusa If you do not itemize deductions, you are entitled to a higher standard deduction if you are age 65 or older at the end of the year. Www freetaxusa You are considered age 65 at the end of the year if your 65th birthday is on or before January 1 of the following year. Www freetaxusa Credit for the elderly or the disabled. Www freetaxusa If you qualify, you may benefit from the credit for the elderly or the disabled. Www freetaxusa To determine if you qualify and how to figure this credit, see Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled , later. Www freetaxusa Return preparation assistance. Www freetaxusa The IRS wants to make it easier for you to file your federal tax return. Www freetaxusa You may find it helpful to visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), or American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Tax-Aide site near you. Www freetaxusa Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Www freetaxusa These programs provide free help for low-income taxpayers and taxpayers age 60 or older to fill in and file their returns. Www freetaxusa For the VITA/TCE site nearest you, contact your local IRS office. Www freetaxusa For more information, see Free help with your tax return under How To Get Tax Help. Www freetaxusa For the location of an AARP Tax-Aide site in your community, call 1-888-227-7669. Www freetaxusa When asked, be ready to press in or speak your 5-digit ZIP code. Www freetaxusa Or, you can visit their website on the Internet at www. Www freetaxusa aarp. Www freetaxusa org/money/taxaide. Www freetaxusa Comments and suggestions. Www freetaxusa We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Www freetaxusa You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. Www freetaxusa NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224 We respond to many letters by telephone. Www freetaxusa Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. Www freetaxusa You can send your comments from www. Www freetaxusa irs. Www freetaxusa gov/formspubs/. Www freetaxusa Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. Www freetaxusa ” Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. Www freetaxusa Ordering forms and publications. Www freetaxusa Visit www. Www freetaxusa irs. Www freetaxusa gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. Www freetaxusa Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Www freetaxusa Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. Www freetaxusa If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. Www freetaxusa gov or call 1-800-829-1040. Www freetaxusa We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. Www freetaxusa Table I. Www freetaxusa What You Should Know About Federal Taxes Note. Www freetaxusa The following is a list of questions you may have about filling out your federal income tax return. Www freetaxusa To the right of each question is the location of the answer in this publication. Www freetaxusa What I Should Know Where To Find the Answer Do I need to file a return? See chapter 1. Www freetaxusa Is my income taxable or nontaxable? If it is nontaxable, must I still report it? See chapter 2. Www freetaxusa How do I report benefits I received from the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board? Are these benefits taxable? See Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits in chapter 2. Www freetaxusa Must I report the sale of my home? If I had a gain, is any part of it taxable? See Sale of Home in chapter 2. Www freetaxusa What are some of the items that I can deduct to reduce my income? See chapters 3 and 4. Www freetaxusa How do I report the amounts I set aside for my IRA? See Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) Contributions and Deductions in chapter 3. Www freetaxusa Would it be better for me to claim the standard deduction or itemize my deductions? See chapter 4. Www freetaxusa What are some of the credits I can claim to reduce my tax? See chapter 5 for discussions on the credit for the elderly or the disabled, the child and dependent care credit, and the earned income credit. Www freetaxusa Must I make estimated tax payments? See chapter 6. Www freetaxusa How do I contact the IRS or get more information? See chapter 7. Www freetaxusa Prev Up Next Home More Online Publications
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