The Reference Section

A collection of wealth improvement articles


I'm retired. Do I need to file a tax return?

Question: Do I need to file a tax return after I retire?

Answer: You may need to file a return even after you retire. You're required to file a return if your income is over certain levels. Generally, you must file a 2019 federal income tax return, even if you don’t owe tax, when your gross income exceeds the following limits:

Single

$12,200


Head of household

$18,350


Married filing jointly

$24,400


Married filing separately

$12,200


If you are 65 or older or legally blind, you are allowed to make more money before you have to file a return. Single taxpayers who are legally blind or over age 65 can take another $1,650 ($1,300 for each married taxpayer).

If your total income is less than these amounts, you’ll still have to file a return if you are self-employed and your business net income is $400 or more.

Even if you do not have to file a return, you might still want to do so. For example, if you paid taxes to the IRS or had taxes withheld from your wages or pension, the only way you can get your money back is to file a tax return.