Happy senior couple sealing with an handshake a tax settlement program.If you have reached retirement age and you are receiving social security benefits, then you may be wondering when you should stop filing taxes. The truth: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mandates that those who are at least 65 years old must file a tax return if their gross income is more than the amount of the standard deduction for their filing status along with one exemption sum.

Below are three things every senior citizen should know . . .

Know When and How to File

Seniors who are single and 65 year old have to file an income tax return if their gross income is equal to, or more than $11,500. Those who live on Social Security benefits do not have to add this to their gross income on a tax return because this is the only income they are collecting, and their gross income equals zero in the eyes of the IRS.

Seniors who are married and plan on filing a joint return with their spouse who is also retirement age, only have to file if their joined gross income is $22,400 or more. If you spouse is younger than retirement age, then your minimum amount is $21,200 for 2013.

Paying Off IRS Debts

If you or your spouse is age 65 and you owe back taxes to the IRS, then it is in your best interest to pay off your debts. The IRS cannot only reprimand you with steep fines; they can take money from you income, or even charge you with jail time.

Meeting with a tax resolution lawyer is the best solution to IRS debt. The professionals at companies like U.S. Tax Shield have the industry knowledge and customer service experience to help you pay your back taxes so you can get back to enjoying your retirement.

Blending Social Security and Gross Income

Everyone’s financial circumstances are different, and there are some conditions that allow seniors to include their Social Security earnings in their gross income. Seniors, who are married but file a separate tax return and have lived with their spouse any time throughout the past year, may need to file a return because their Social Security may be considered income. Furthermore, an fraction of their Social Security earnings are included in gross income, despite their filing status if the amount of half of their Social Security in addition to other income (tax-exempt interest does not count), is greater than $25,000 for singles and $32,000 for those who are married and filing jointly.

Know The Tax Credits You Are Eligible to Receive

If you are a senior citizen know what tax credits you are able to receive. This can significantly reduce your tax bill come April 15. For more resources visit the IRS’s website. Additionally, you can seek the help of a tax expert. The tax resolution attorneys at U.S. Tax Shield are well versed in the nuances of tax laws in the United States, and have the industry experience to help you.