Tax FAQs with Eddie Dayan, CPA

Eddie Dayan, CPA, is a senior accountant at Brand Sonnenschine LLP. He was a founding member of the Legally Links Tax Advisory Division.

Legally Links is available to help surviving spouses and children. Please do not hesitate to reach out to

What happens if my spouse passed away during the previous year? Do they still owe taxes?

You must file a tax return that includes all income up to the date of death. You’re entitled to all credits and deductions for the year. During the year that the spouse passes away, the surviving spouse is eligible to file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. If the surviving spouse remains unmarried following the year of the spouse’s death and has at least one dependent child, then they qualify for Qualifying Widower status when filing the subsequent two years’ tax returns.

Are Social Security survivors benefits considered taxable income?

The portion of Social Security benefits allocated for the child are not considered taxable income for the parent. They are considered taxable income for the child, though most children don’t earn enough to be required to file taxes.  

Is there a minimum amount of money I have to earn to be required to file taxes?

The minimum income to file taxes depends on your filing status and age. If your income is below the standard deduction for your filing status, then you’re not required to file taxes. The standard deduction is updated every year because it’s adjusted for inflation. (For reference, in 2023, the standard deduction is $13,850 for both singles filers and married filing separately, $27,700 for joint filers, and $20,800 for head of household.) 

What type of income is included?

The simple answer is everything, unless specifically excluded. The most common types of taxed income are wages, salaries, tips, bonuses, vacation pay, severance pay, commissions, interest, and dividends.

Will Legally Links file tax returns for me?

Legally Links can file your tax returns if you make less than $60k. For those who make more than $60k we remain available to assist with questions and referrals to outside accountants.

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