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Monday, February 13, 2017

Tax help and advice for older adults

tax forms

A Google search on “tax tips for seniors,” generated many tax-related questions that older adults may be wondering about:

  • Is Social Security considered as income?
  • At what age do you stop paying income tax?
  • Are Medicare payments deductible? 
  • When does a senior citizen on Social Security stop filing taxes?
  • How can I get a copy of my annual Social Security benefit statement (SSA-1099)?

As most of us know, answers to tax-related questions are rarely straight-forward and answers may vary from person to person, depending on their unique situation.

Tax time is also prime time for scammers. Older adults are always high profile targets for financial exploitation and abuse, but tax time puts them at extra risk. Even though they may not be required to file an income tax return, seniors may be led to believe they should file a return to receive social Security rebates for excess withholding or that they are eligible for certain tax credits that could get them a refund. Read more about how to avoid tax-related frauds and scams in our blog.

Fortunately there are many resources, programs and services available to help older adults get answers to their tax questions, and to get help filing their tax return.

Tax-related Resources for Older Adults

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
On the IRS website, you can visit the Tips for Seniors in Preparing their Taxes section for answers to commonly asked questions and to be connected to resources that may help you as you work on your taxes. The site includes information regarding the standard deduction for seniors, taxable amount of social security benefits, tax credits for the elderly or disabled, and where to get free assistance with tax return preparation. You can also access IRS Publication 554, Tax Guide for Seniors.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation help, focusing on people age 50 and older. The program’s team of IRS-certified volunteers understands that retirement and other life changes may mean your taxes are a little more complicated now. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide has more than 5,000 locations in libraries, malls, banks, community/seniors center and more. A search on the AARP website for a 50 mile radius around 45246 (Springdale) showed nearly 50 neighborhood locations. To find a site, call (888) 227-7669 or visit www.aarp.org/findtaxhelp. You do not need to be an AARP member to use this service and there will be no pressure to join during your tax help session. The website also includes information about what to bring with you to your appointment and frequently asked questions about federal taxes.

Social Security Administration
If you need a copy of your Social Security Benefits Statement (SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S), there’s no need to wait in line at a local field office. Simply go online and request an instant, printable replacement form with a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Read more about how to request a replacement statement and other tax-related issues in the Tax section of the Social Security blog, Social Security Matters.

 

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