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Hi and welcome to Just Answer!You are correct that filing requirements are based on your gross income. However teh threshold is mush lower than your indicated.
For filing requirements - see IRS publication 501 - www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf
Please stay with me - I am looking for exact reference ...
we are both retired and more than half our income is S S
Page 2 - Table 1. 2012 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayersmarried filing jointly when both are above 65 - if your taxable income is below 21,800 - you are not required to file.
Social Security benefits might be partly taxable - that is a separate issue.Here is a simple test - if you take a half of your combined SS benefits PLUS other taxable income - and the total is below $32,000 - none of your SS benefits would be taxable.
Here is the IRS page - http://www.irs.gov/uac/Are-Your-Social-Security-Benefits-Taxable%3FWhile it is referred to 2010 - all is still effective.
If you provide separately amounts of your SS benefits and other taxable income - I will help to determine if you need to file or not.
our pensions total 16228 and our SS totals 27726
So - using that test 27726 / 2 + 16228 = 30091 - that is less than $32,000 - and NONE of your SS benefits will be taxable.Your ONLY taxable income is from pension $16228However - if you both are above 65 - that is below filing requirements threshold - which is $21800 for 2012 - and you are NOT required to file your federal income tax return.
Thank you and good bye I have to go to my doctor