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Each year the IRS releases the SOI Tax Stats (Statistics On Income) for tax returns 2 years prior. The most recent release is for 2016 tax returns filed in 2017.

This offers a multitude of tax tables organized just about any way you can imagine, which are downloadable in Excel. If you're comfortable with some of Excel's basic functions, you can set up the table to provide all manner of interesting tax statistics for the year.

For example, here's some interesting info on tax returns from those age 65 and older from lowest stats to highest stats, comparing the 65 and older filers with all tax returns filed for 2016:

% of all tax returns filed: 17%
% of all tax paid: 19%

% of all salaries reported: 6%
% of all unemployment compensation received: 7%
% of all standard deductions claimed: 14%
% of all business income reported: 15%
% of all above-the-line deductions claimed: 16%
% of all alimony received: 16%
% of all IRA deduction amounts: 19%
% of all itemized deductions claimed: 21%
% of all AMT paid: 27%
% of all Gambling winnings reported: 37%
% of all who reported Qualified Dividends: 39%
% of those age 65 and older who itemized deductions: 39%
% of all Long Term Capital Gains reported: 47%
% of all Interest reported as income: 50%
% of all reported Qualified Dividends: 54%
% of all pension income reported: 57%
% of those age 65 and older who took the standard deduction: 61%
% of all municipal bond interest reported: 63%
% of all Taxable IRA withdrawals: 74%
% of all Taxable Social Security Benefits: 88%

I'll bet the % of 65 and older who take the standard deduction will go up significantly when the 2018 SOI data is released in a couple of years. I'd guess it'll go from 61% in 2016 to close to 90% in 2018...but that's just a guess.

Just some fun data

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% of all pension income reported: 57%


This one has me scratching my head. Are there really that many "youngsters" collecting gov & military pensions? Who else collects pensions before 65? Just can't think of a major category that would qualify.

a man over 65

P.S. That "pension income" excludes disability payments, doesn't it? {I sure hope so!}
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sunray asks:Who else collects pensions before 65?

Teachers? K-12 and college/University?
State workers?
Civil service?
Police and fire departments?
City and county employees?

Think of all those "X pension is going bankrupt" due to exteavagant benefits packages.

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The ERISA-standard full retirement age is 65 and always has been, although it allows for plans to use a younger age for certain job codes, usually relating to higher risk or high physical demand, as I recall. But states and federal employees have no such restriction. I have 4 fed and state retirees in our extended family and all retired and began their pensions in their 50s.

What struck me as a bit odd was 16% of all Alimony received? At 65?

And 19% of all TIRA deductions? At 65? Now, that means this group has to be working...or their spouse...and certainly this group is probably the most motivated and likely has the the most discretionary dollars to make a deductible contribution, but most of this group...those 70.5 and older, cannot contribute. That's a lot of IRA contributing.

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I worked for GE for 11 'pension years' back in the 1970s/early 80s. the pension is not inflation adjusted. I took it at age 60 when it was the same as any age you retire.....not all that much, but it made no difference in amount per year when I took it, so I took it at age 60. Otherwise, lost money

I used to be able to take deductions every other year by bunching. Could pay taxes in either December or January of a year. So every other year, I'd pay two years real estate taxes in same calendar year. that got me over the $7500 threshold and other stuff became deductible.

Now, with $12,000 standard deduction, there is no way I can do it.

My real estate taxes are $4100 /yr and frozen after age 65 at about that level.

So I'll take the $12K deduction for a single.

Haven't done my taxes yet. Forms were still coming in a week ago......and usually one or two revisions on the REits and stuff.

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