Tips for Seniors in Preparing their Taxes
Paying taxes is part of being a citizen that nobody really likes. The rules are too complicated and hard to follow. However, due to their age, seniors can take advantage of several special rules to get a higher tax return. Let’s have a closer look at some of these special rules.
1. Medical and Dental Expenses
Health is what old people talk about the most. This is not surprising, because being old often means spending a lot of time and money on necessary medical procedures. Young people can also qualify for deduction connected with medical and dental expenses, but their expenses need to be high enough to be eligible. Older people who live on low or fixed incomes and incur high medical expenses can easily meet the threshold of 7.5 percent of adjustable gross income. Expect to receive a deduction for artificial teeth, insurance premiums or wheelchairs. More comprehensive information about medical and dental expenses can be found at the IRS website.
2. Higher standard deduction
If you and/or your spouse are older than 65 years, you are entitled to a higher standard deduction. If for some reason you and/or your spouse are blind, you can also get a higher standard deduction. You can find more information about it in the instructions to Form 1040 and 1040A.
3. Taking care of dependants
Soaring living costs are forcing more and more generations under one roof. This often leads to seniors paying for most of the expenses in the family. Having more life experience, you can surely try to teach your children and grandchildren how to save money as they study in college and often use a reliable essay writing service that can write my essay. However, if they are unwilling to change their lifestyle, make sure you claim them as dependents so that you can receive an additional tax break.
4. Tax Relief in Disaster Situations
If you have recently been impacted by a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado, make sure you consult with an IRS specialist. When you are preparing taxes, keep in mind that due to a disaster, you may be eligible to have a deadline extended in filing your taxes or an increased standard deduction based on qualified disaster losses.
5. Be Aware of Changes
The Tax Code is not written in stone and constantly changes according to the whims of bureaucrats and politicians. The IRS recommends that you keep track of the information on the special Seniors & Retirees web page where they publish up-to-date materials on filing taxes for seniors. Check if you have an IRS-certified consultant in your local community who works with the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program. These specialists provide free of charge help with filing taxes for seniors over 60 years old. You should also check the website of the department of taxes in your state since each state has different regulations on tax breaks and property taxes for seniors.