Do I Have to File Income Tax Returns This Year?

What are the IRS income tax filing requirements this tax season? My income decreased in 2022 and I am wondering if I need to file a tax return this year.

The requirement to file a federal income tax return this year depends on how much you earned last year, the source of the income, your age and filing status.

Here is a rundown of the 2022 tax season's IRS tax filing requirement thresholds. If your 2022 gross income – which includes all taxable income, not counting your Social Security benefits unless you are married and filing separately – was below the threshold for your filing status and age, you may not have to file. If it is over, you are required to file.

• Single: $12,950 ($14,700 if you are 65 or older by January 1, 2022).
• Married filing jointly: $25,900 ($27,300 if one spouse is 65 or older; or $28,700 if you are both over 65).
• Married filing separately: Minimum income of $5 at any age.
• Head of household: $19,400 ($21,150 if 65 or older).
• Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: $25,900 ($27,300 if 65 or older).

To get a detailed breakdown on federal filing requirements or for information on taxable and nontaxable income, call the IRS at 800-829-3676 and ask for a free copy of the "1040 and 1040-SR Instructions for Tax Year 2022." These instructions can also be found online at

Check Here Too

Be aware of other financial situations that will require you to file a tax return, even if your gross income falls below the IRS filing requirements. For example, if you earned more than $400 from self-employment in 2022, owe any special taxes like an alternative minimum tax or get premium tax credits due to enrollment in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan, you will need to file.

You will also need to file if one-half of your Social Security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest exceeds $25,000. This threshold amount rises to $32,000 if you are married and filing jointly.

The IRS offers an online tax tool that asks a series of questions to help you determine if you are required to file or if you should file because you may be owed a refund. It takes less than 15 minutes to complete. You can access this tool at Click on "Do I Need to File a Tax Return?" and it will walk you through an online review. You can also get assistance over the phone by calling the IRS helpline at 800-829-1040.

Check Your State

Even if you are not required to file a federal tax return this year, do not assume that you are also excused from filing state income taxes. The rules for your state may be different. Check the tax filing requirements for your state to determine if you should file.

Tax Preparation Help

If your 2022 adjusted gross income was below $73,000, you may receive free filing help through the IRS at

For middle and low-income taxpayers who are age 60 and older, contact the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (or TCE) program for free tax preparation and counseling. Call 800-906-9887 or visit to locate services near you. You may also use an online search engine to find nonprofits that provide tax return preparation assistance free of charge for qualified individuals.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.


Published February 17, 2023

Jinny Scifres Memorial Scholarship Applications Available

The Washington County Community Foundation will be accepting applications for the Jinny Scifres Scholarship.  The scholarship is for any individual planning to attend a post-secondary accredited institution in the 2023-2024 school year and plans to pursue studies in the medical field.  The number and dollar amount of scholarships will be determined by the committee.  Preference may be given to non-traditional nursing students who may be returning to school after starting a family or career, as did Jinny. 

After starting a family, Jinny made the tough decision to return to school and study nursing.  After graduation, she began her nursing career at Washington County Memorial Hospital as an Emergency Room Nurse.  Jinny’s love of nursing eventually led her to several promotions and back to school once again.  She eventually became the Director of Patient Care Services.

Jinny died in the fall of 2000, after bravely battling bone cancer.  Her family and many friends established this scholarship fund in her memory, to assist others who, like Jinny, return to school to study nursing after starting a family or career.  

For questions or an application, please contact Judy or Lindsey at 812-883-7334 or  More information regarding the scholarship as well as the application can be found at  Applications are due by April 4, 2023 at 3:30.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever


WCCF offering $35,000.00 in Spring Grant Cycle

WCCF has opened their Spring Grant Cycle.  Funds for the $35,000 grant cycle are made possible through our generous donors and the Foundation’s Touch Tomorrow Funds.

Grant applications for the spring grant cycle are available by calling the WCCF office or visiting our website at to download an application.  The application deadline will be 3:30pm, April 4, 2023.

 For more information or to request an application, you may call Judy Johnson or Lindsey Wade-Swift at the Foundation office.  The number is (812) 883-7334.

Washington County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Washington County forever


How to Cover Dental Care in Retirement

I had dental insurance through my work for many years but no longer have that coverage since I retired and joined Medicare. Where can retirees find affordable dental care?

About two-thirds of U.S. retirees do not have dental insurance. Without coverage from traditional Medicare and the perception that private dental insurance will cost too much to be feasible, most seniors are stuck paying full out-of-pocket prices every time they visit a dentist. While there is not a simple solution to affordable dental care, there are a variety of options that can help cut costs. Here is where to look.

Medicare Advantage: While dental services are mostly excluded under original Medicare, many Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for dental care, but it is usually limited. Medicare Advantage plans are government approved health plans (usually HMOs and PPOs) sold by private insurance companies that you can choose in place of original Medicare. To shop and research Advantage plans in your area visit

Dental insurance: If you need extensive dental care, a dental insurance plan may be worth the cost. Monthly premiums for individual plans range from about $20 to $80. A typical plan includes two or three cleanings and checkups per year. These plans will likely have a waiting period – anywhere from a few months to a few years – before coverage for more expensive procedures kicks in.

Dental savings plans: While savings plans are not as comprehensive as insurance, they are a good option for those who do not have dental insurance. With this plan, you pay an annual membership fee ranging anywhere from $80 to $200 a year in exchange for 10% to 60% discounts on service and treatments from participating dentists. To find a savings plan, use your preferred search engine to search for plans and participating dentists in your area and get a breakdown of the discounts offered.

Veterans' benefits: If you are a veteran enrolled in the Veteran Affairs (VA) health care program or are a beneficiary of the Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA), the VA offers a dental insurance program that gives you the option to buy dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost. The VA also provides free dental care to vets who have dental problems resulting from their service. To learn more about these options, visit

Cheaper dental care: Because prices can vary by dentist, one way to ensure you get a good deal on your dental care is to call multiple providers and compare prices. Search online to get an idea of what different dental procedures cost in your area. Additionally, if you are paying cash, it may be reasonable to inquire about a price adjustment as many dentists may offer a discount.

There are also a number health centers and clinics that provide low-cost dental care to those in need. All university dental schools and college dental hygiene programs offer dental care and cleanings, typically for less than half of what you would pay at a dentist's office. Students who are supervised by their professors provide the care. Use your preferred search engine to look for a center, clinic or school near you.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

IRS 2022 Tax Return Checklist

In IR-2023-17, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) suggested a checklist for 2022 tax returns. The IRS offered several recommendations that will assist taxpayers and make for a smooth tax preparation year. In addition, we offer a few checklist items for you to consider.

1. Gather Tax Records — Taxpayers need to gather their records for the tax return. You will need Social Security numbers for all of family members, your bank account and routing numbers to file electronically, IRS Forms W-2, 1099 and 1098. You should have IRS Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace, and any letters sent to you from the IRS.

2. Report All Income — The IRS reminded taxpayers that all income is taxable. Some individuals inadvertently do not report income from goods sold online, investments, part-time or seasonal work, self-employment or income from mobile applications or the Internet. All these forms of income should be reported on your tax return.

3. File Electronic Return — The quickest and easiest way to file is electronically. You will receive the most prompt refund by filing electronically and selecting direct deposit to your financial institution. If taxpayers have not yet had their 2021 tax return processed, they should enter in $0 for their last year of adjusted gross income (AGI). Everyone else should enter their 2021 AGI on the appropriate field.

4. Free IRS Resources — The IRS provides a number of free resources to assist in filing. The IRS Free File software is available for taxpayers with incomes of $73,000 or less in 2022. There are seven Free File products in English and one in Spanish. They may be accessed through You also may benefit from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.

5. Charitable Gifts Over $250 — Gifts of $250 or more to a charity require a receipt. The receipt issued by the charity must state that no goods or services have been transferred in exchange for the gift. If the donor receives something in return from the charity, the deduction value is reduced by the value of that item. If a taxpayer receives something in return for a gift over $75, the charity must make a good faith estimate of the value of the goods or services transferred to the donor and disclose the estimate. In addition, the taxpayer must receive the receipt from the charity prior to filing his or her tax return.

6. Property Gifts Reporting — If a person makes a noncash charitable contribution greater than $500, he or she must include IRS Form 8283 with his or her tax return. The first section of Form 8283 includes Part A, a description of the property. If the property is publicly traded stock, only Part A is required.

7. Property Gift Appraisals — Property gifts with value over $5,000 often require an appraisal and filing IRS Form 8283. The appraisal includes a description of the property and the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the appraiser. The appraiser's qualifications regarding the type of property being valued must be included in the qualified appraisal. The appraiser must disclose if he or she is acting in the capacity as a partner of a partnership, an employee of any person or as an independent contractor engaged by someone other than the donor. The appraisal must state that it was prepared for "income tax purposes."

8. Qualified Appraisers — A "qualified appraiser" is an individual with "verifiable education and experience in valuing the type of property for which the appraisal is performed." The education and experience requirements may be met by successfully completing college-level or professional-level coursework in valuing the type of property being appraised and having two or more years of experience valuing that type of property.

What to Do When a Loved One Passes

What steps need to be taken after a loved one passes away? A family member of mine who has no children was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has asked me to take care of his affairs so I would like to know how to prepare.

The death of a loved one can bring about a host of different tasks and responsibilities.

Here is a list of some things that can be done now and after their death to help keep a difficult time from becoming even more challenging.

Before Passing

There are several things your family member can do now that can facilitate the handling of their affairs after their passing.

First, your family member should determine that all their important documents are easy to locate, such as their up-to-date will or trust, birth certificate, Social Security information, life insurance policies, military discharge papers and financial documents. If your family member has a safe deposit box or home safe, they should plan on how to deliver instructions for their access once they pass. Your family member should also maintain a list of any digital assets (with their corresponding usernames and passwords) in secure storage space for any email, online banking and social media accounts.

If your family member does not have an advance directive, you can find templates for your state by searching online. An advance directive includes a living will that specifies what medical treatments they want or not and appoints a health-care proxy to make further medical decisions if they become incapacitated. Make sure to also have any prearrangements made for a funeral, memorial, and burial or cremation services. Doing so while your loved one is alive ensures their final wishes are met with their approval.

Immediately After Passing

Once your family member passes away, you will need to get a legal pronouncement of death. If no doctor is present, you will need to contact someone to do this. If the passing occurs at home under hospice care, a hospice nurse can declare the death and help facilitate the transport of the body.

If no hospice care is present, call 911 and let the operator know of the situation. You will then need to call the funeral home, mortuary or crematorium to make arrangements for the transfer of the body. If your family member is an organ or tissue donor, contact the funeral home or the county coroner immediately.

A Few Days After Passing

If funeral plans were not preplanned, you will need to make arrangements and prepare an obituary. If your family member was in the military or belonged to a fraternal or religious group, you should contact those organizations as they may have burial benefits or conduct funeral services. You should also notify family members, close friends, and any employer, if they were still working, so others have the opportunity to pay their respects. It is also vital to ensure their home is secured in order to prevent potential theft or vandalism of their home.

Up to 10 Days After Passing

To settle your family member's financial affairs, you will need to get multiple copies of their death certificate. If you are the executor of the estate, take their will to an estate attorney and determine if you should file for probate. If you are appointed by the court to act as an executor, you will need to open a bank account for your family member's estate to pay bills including taxes, funeral costs and medical bills.

The estate attorney can guide you on other steps including finding a tax preparer to prepare and finalize income taxes, liquidating financial holdings, notifying life insurance companies and contacting Social Security and other agencies that provided benefits in order to stop payments. You should also cancel any credit cards, delete or memorialize social media accounts and stop household services like utilities. The home and personal belongings will also need to be dealt with in the coming weeks.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Education Matters Scholarships Now Being Accepted

The donors of the Washington County Community Foundation are now offering scholarships to non-traditional students through the Education Matters initiative.  

The following criteria have been established for this round of scholarships:  

  1. Annual awards will not exceed $3,000 the first twelve months and $5,000 per person in any subsequent twelve-month period.
  2. Scholarship applicants must be a minimum of 28 years old as of the date of application.
  3. Only individuals who can demonstrate continuing legal residence in Washington County for at least the past five years are eligible. Documentation such as tax forms, housing receipts, or utility bills will be used to verify residency and/or household income.
  4. Scholarship awards may be used for tuition, course-related fees, or books only. Checks will only be written to an educational institution or certified training provider.
  5. The application deadline is 3:30 on April 4, 2023. No exceptions.
  6. Adult scholarship awards may not be used to pay for college debt.
  7. Subsequent awards will only be considered for students maintaining at least a 2.5 GPA.

Call the Washington County Community Foundation office at 883-7334 or email to request an application or for more information.

The mission of the Washington County Community Foundation is to engage people, build resources and strengthen our community. 

Important Medicare Coverage Dates

I know the fall open enrollment period has passed but I heard there are other times of the year when beneficiaries can make additional changes. When is it possible to make changes to my current Medicare coverage?

The annual Medicare open enrollment period is not your only opportunity to change your Medicare coverage. The timing of when you can make changes depends on your specific circumstances and the kind of Medicare coverage you have. Here is what you should know.

Medicare Advantage Change

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can make changes during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period which occurs each year from January 1 through March 31.

During this period, you can switch from your current Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to original Medicare with or without a prescription drug plan. You can only switch once during this period and the changes will become effective on the first day of the following month after you make the change.

Special Enrollment

You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to change your Medicare health and drug coverage when certain major events happen in your life. Events that qualify for SEPs include moving outside of your plan's service area, termination of a significant amount of your Medicare Advantage Plan's network providers or enrollment in your local State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP).

Those with Extra Help – the federal program that helps pay for prescription drug coverage – also have a SEP to enroll in a Part D plan or switch between plans once per quarter in the first three quarters of the year.

If you need to make changes to your coverage but are not sure whether you qualify for a SEP, contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for free Medicare counseling.

Be aware that, if you are enrolled in a Medicare plan by mistake or because of misleading information, you may be able to disenroll and change plans. In most circumstances, you have the right to change plans if you joined unintentionally, joined based on incorrect or misleading information or were kept in a plan you did not want through no fault of your own. For assistance with disenrollment, Medicare customer service representatives are available at 800-633-4227.

Fall Open Enrollment

There is also a Fall Open Enrollment period that allows all Medicare beneficiaries – those with original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans – to make changes.

Fall Open Enrollment occurs each year from October 15 through December 7. During this period, you can join a new Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D). You can also switch between original Medicare with or without a Part D plan and Medicare Advantage. You can make as many changes as you would like during this period. The final coverage choice you make during this period will take effect on January 1.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Free File Launch on January 13

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that its Free File tax software is available for taxpayers starting January 13. The Free File programs allow taxpayers to enter their data and file their tax returns online for free. Free File returns will be filed starting on the opening day of tax season, January 23.

Free File is in its 21st season. The seven partners of Free File are commercial software companies. They offer complimentary online software to taxpayers with 2022 incomes of $73,000 or less. Taxpayers with incomes over $73,000 may use a separate filing system, the IRS Free File Fillable Forms (FFFF).

The seven Free File providers each create their own eligibility rules. Several providers offer their software for taxpayers with incomes under $73,000, while others have lower income cut-offs. Active-duty military members with adjusted gross income in 2022 of $73,000 or less are permitted to use all seven products.

To use the Free File software, taxpayers should go to Select the Free Guided Tax Preparation and a Free File Online Lookup Tool to help you select the best program. You can use the Browse All Offers function to look at the different offers. You select one of the seven products and click through to the provider's website. You will then be able to complete your tax return online. Taxpayers without a computer may complete their tax return on a mobile phone or tablet.

The seven Free File providers are 1040Now,,, On-Line Taxes, Tax Act, FreeTaxUSA and TaxSlayer. For forms in Spanish, taxpayers can use

Mobility Tool Tips

What should I look for in a mobility tool? I have back and hip problems, so I often need help picking things up off the ground. I bought an inexpensive grabbing tool a few months ago that does not work very well but would like to find a better one.

A good "reacher-grabber" is a very practical and popular tool for anyone who struggles with injuries, arthritis or loss of mobility. It works like an extension of your arm allowing you to reach down and pick things up off the ground without bending over. It can also help with reaching and grabbing items in high overhead places as well as areas that are difficult to reach.

With so many different types of tools on the market today, finding a good one that works well is not always easy. Depending on your needs, here are a few different types of products to consider.

All-purpose: For retrieving small and medium-sized items, look for a tool option that can handle most chores. Some tool aids feature comfortable handgrips. You may want to find a tool with a rubberized jaw with strength to lift objects up to 5 pounds and up to 4 inches wide, yet gentle enough to pick up smaller objects. You can also look for a grabber that rotates and locks for vertical or horizontal use to help you get hard-to-reach items. These tools can come in a variety of lengths, ranging from 26 inches to 36 inches in length. The best length may vary based on your height.

Lightweight: If you want a grabber tool primarily for retrieving small items around the house, look for a lightweight tool with a trigger-style handgrip and serrated jaw that provides a secure grip when lifting small objects.

Some of these tools also come with a magnet built into the tip for picking up lightweight metal objects like a paperclip. You may want a tool with a small hook that aids in retrieving things like clothes, shoes or keys. Some devices even have built-in clips on the arm of the grabber so you can attach it to canes, walkers and wheelchairs. However, if you select a lightweight design, the tool is not meant to be used for retrieving heavier items like canned goods from shelves.

Foldable: For easy storage, look for a grabber with slip-joints, making the tool easy to fold and stow away. These grabbers can come in a variety of sizes. Although it is foldable, you may find some tools can lift objects up to 3 pounds and 4 inches wide.

Heavy-duty: For heavy-lifting jobs or for outdoor use, try to find a sturdy tool designed with a heavy-duty claw that can grip small, large and odd-shaped items with ease. Look for ones that have easy to grip handles that can lift up to at least 8 pounds. Some of the heavy duty grabbers also come with a built-in magnet for picking up small metal objects.

Where to Buy

You can buy reacher-grabbers at many pharmacies, retail, medical equipment and home improvement stores. However, because it is a specialty item, the selections may be limited. If you want to see all of the options available on the market, use your preferred online search engine to help you compare features.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

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