Tax Time for Seniors in Home CareApril 15, 2021
Tax Time for Seniors in Home Care: Tax time can be stressful, especially for seniors living at home. Many seniors who live alone are not accustomed to doing their own taxes; because their spouse or partner did them. While others used a tax preparation service or accountant when they were working. With lots of media coverage every year about how the tax code is getting more and more complicated, many seniors worry that they won’t be able to complete their own tax returns. The good news is, there are many ways for seniors to get help at home when it comes to taxes. Having an in-home caregiver can also make filing your taxes easier, whether it’s getting help gathering your documentation, or helping you manage your schedule.
Tax Help for Seniors from the Government
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may seem like an unlikely source for help for seniors when it comes to preparing your taxes. We’ve all been conditioned to see the IRS as a bureaucracy that seeks to punish taxpayers for mistakes and take as much of your hard earned money as possible. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. For starters, the IRS website contains many tips for seniors in preparing their returns. You can also find all the forms you’ll need, available to download and print. Also, the IRS recently announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are extending the filing deadline from April 15th to May 17th. The State of Illinois has also extended its deadline, as have most other states.
Seniors Can Get Tax Preparation Help from the IRS
Seniors who need help with their taxes can get help from two different programs: the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Consulting for the Elderly (TCE). Both of these programs help elderly people who need assistance in preparing their tax returns. These programs offer seniors assistance from highly trained volunteers who can assist with your taxes. These volunteers usually staff on-site tax help centers where seniors can bring their documentation and receive assistance. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, these in-person centers are operating on a very limited basis, and may require an appointment. For more information, call 888-227-7669.
More Tax Preparation Help for Seniors
Tax preparation help is also available to seniors through AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide. You don’t even need to be an AARP member to receive assistance. The program allows you to request a volunteer to prepare your taxes for you, or to have the volunteer coach you on how to prepare your own return, and will even give you access to free tax filing software.
Seniors Who Want to File for Themselves Can Still Get Help
Many seniors may feel more comfortable preparing their own taxes. The IRS maintains publications that can assist you, such as this Guide for Retirees. There’s also a special optional tax form for seniors who prefer to use a paper form. But for those comfortable using tax preparation software, the IRS has created IRS Free File, a basic tax preparation and filing software. If you qualify, you can even file your state tax return through this system. As mentioned above, AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide can direct you to free online tax preparation software. Some commercial tax preparation software, such as TurboTax and TaxSlayer have limited free versions that you may be able to use if you qualify. Even if you don’t qualify for the free version, paid versions start at around $40 and may include more features.
Tips for Seniors Filing their Taxes
Whether you’re getting help from a preparer or doing it yourself; there are some things to keep in mind for seniors preparing their taxes:
- Seniors and Retirement Income. Is your retirement income taxable? The IRS has a tool to help you determine what is or is not taxable
- Seniors and Tax Returns and Economic Impact Payments. Some seniors who live at home may not have received their Economic Impact Payment (sometimes referred to as a stimulus check) because of their tax filing status. The IRS can help seniors here as well.
- Credit for Elderly and Disabled. Did you know there was a credit for Elderly and Disabled people? Did you know the standard deduction is larger for seniors? There are many benefits for seniors in the tax code, so it’s important to make sure you’re receiving all of them.
Seniors May Need Help at Home While Doing Their Taxes
Whether you’re using an online tax prep software, meeting a tax preparation specialist over Zoom, or just gathering all your documentation, having a home care aide can be valuable at tax time. Maybe you have an appointment with the person preparing your taxes? A home care aide can help with a reminder. Mailing in your tax return? A home care aide can help with a trip to the post office. Or if you’re struggling to find the time to collect your tax documents; do research on tax breaks or meet with a tax expert. An in-home caregiver can make sure your meals are ready and laundry is done so you can focus your attention on taxes.
Home Care Powered by AUAF is Your Home Care Agency
Whether it’s helping you organize your financial documents or just doing light housekeeping to keep you focused on your tax preparation, let the expert home care aides at Home Care Powered by AUAF help you this tax season. Call us at or contact us to get started.
(DISCLAIMER: This post is provided for informational purposes only, Home Care Powered by AUAF does not provide tax or legal advice. Any products mentioned above have not been reviewed by Home Care Powered by AUAF and we do not receive any commission or consideration for their sale or use)
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