Dear Tax Talk,

I was the primary caretaker for my father, who has died. I have not gone back to work since then, and have had no earned income. I have been living off of the mutual funds that I inherited. The financial institution withdrew the taxes each time I took a withdrawal. Do I need to file a tax return?

— Margie

Dear Margie,

Whether or not you need to file a tax return depends on your filing status, your gross income and your age. The filing requirements change somewhat if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. However, even if you do not meet the filing requirements, you may be due a refund for the taxes that have been withheld by the mutual fund company, so you will need to file a return to receive any refund from the IRS.

The table below shows the income thresholds required for someone to file taxes.

2014 filing requirements for most taxpayers

Filing status Age Gross income
Single Under 65

65 or older

$10,150

$11,700

Married filing jointly Under 65 (both spouses)

65 or older (one spouse)

65 or older (both spouses)

$20,300

$21,500

$22,700

Married filing separately Any age $3,950
Head of household Under 65

65 or older

$13,050

$14,600

Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child Under 65

65 or older

$16,350

$17,550

Source: IRS Publication 17

Thanks for writing. All the best to you.

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