My mother in law is 82. She receives SS and a not to large pension from several jobs. Is she still required to file Federal and State (CA) taxes?
Terry Says: Well, the simple — but not completely accurate — answer is that if her income (total) is below $11,500 she is not required to file. BUT she may be required to file if there was any withholding tax on her pension distributions (she would be entitled to get those taxes back), and similarly if there are other entitlement programs which she can claim. Also that status may be altered if YOU can claim her as a dependent, by providing more than half of her support. I would turn to a professional CPA to make sure none of these, or other exceptions, apply. Once you understand her status, if it doesn’t change you can use the same methodology next year. For more details, and a “walk-thru” quiz on what might be her situation, read this page for the details on Federal filing. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Do-You-Need-to-File-a-Federal-Income-Tax-Return%3F-
You would need to talk to a CPA in your state to determine whether she is required to file a state return.