Generally, for 2011, if you are 65+ years old and your gross income is under $10,950, you do not have to file a tax return.
The distributions you received are over this threshold amount. However, depending on the type of distributions you received, the entire distribution may not be subject to tax (i.e. included in your gross income).
I would recommend visiting a local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance group whom can review you information and advise you of your filing requirements - free of charge.
Follow this link to find a VITA center in your area:
I wish you the best of luck!!
I will piggy-back that response with more answer, that may be helpful to other readers.
According to IRS, there are some instances when you may want to file a tax return even though you are not required to do so. Even if you don’t have to file, here are seven reasons why you may want to:
1. Federal Income Tax Withheld You should file to get money back if Federal Income Tax was withheld from your pay, you made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year’s tax.
2. Making Work Pay Credit You may be able to take this credit if you had earned income from work. The maximum credit for a married couple filing a joint return is $800 and $400 for other taxpayers.
3. Earned Income Tax Credit You may qualify for EITC if you worked, but did not earn a lot of money.EITC is a refundable tax credit; which means you could qualify for a tax refund.
4. Additional Child Tax Credit This refundable credit may be available to you if you have at least one qualifying child and you did not get the full amount of the Child Tax Credit.
5. American Opportunity Credit The maximum credit per student is $2,500 and the first four years of postsecondary education qualify.
6. First-Time Homebuyer Credit The credit is a maximum of $8,000 or $4,000 if your filing status is married filing separately. To qualify for the credit, taxpayers must have bought – or entered into a binding contract to buy – a principal residence located in the United States on or before April 30, 2010. If you entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, you must have closed on the home on or before September 30, 2010. If you bought a home as your principle residence in 2010, you may be able to qualify and claim the credit even if you already owned a home. In this case, the maximum credit for long-time residents is $6,500, or $3,250 if your filing status is married filing separately.
7. Health Coverage Tax Credit Certain individuals, who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance, Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance, or pension benefit payments from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, may be eligible for a Health Coverage Tax Credit worth 80 percent of monthly health insurance premiums when you file your 2010 tax return.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE NOTICE: IRS Circular 230 regulates written communications about federal tax matters between tax advisors and their clients. To the extent the preceding correspondence and/or any attachment is a written tax advice communication, it is not a full “covered opinion”. Accordingly, this advice is not intended and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by the IRS regarding the transaction or matters discussed herein.
Other facts are whether you are married, disabled, etc.
I usually recommend filing to start the statute of limitations and to memorialize the other facts (married, disabled, other income, etc). It puts you on record for all income and other situational facts.
Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.