5 Tips for Filing Your Taxes

Tax season is upon us, friends. Maybe you’re in your Jackson assisted living facility dreading your upcoming tax prep! No doubt everyone wants to uncover ways to save money on their taxes or maximize the return received, and seniors are no exception. If you are 50 years old or older, we have a few tips on tax breaks for seniors that could help you save some money when you file. We hope you’ll find the information useful!

Tip 1: Higher Standard Deduction for Ages 65 and Up

If you and/or your spouse are 65 or older, and you don’t itemize your tax deductions, you can get a higher deduction amount when you file your taxes. Also, did you know there is an additional increase in standard deduction if either of you is blind?

Tip 2: Increase in Retirement Account Limits

When you reach age 50 or above, you become eligible to contribute up to $24,500 to a retirement account and defer paying tax on those dollars. This is actually a fantastic way to put away some money while also making a fiscal decision with inherent tax benefits.

Tip 3: Tax Credit for the Elderly or Disabled

At ages 65 and up, if you are totally or permanently disabled, you may be eligible for the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled, which is based on age, income, and filing status. In order to get the credit, you must meet the following requirements:

Your income on Form 1040, line 38 is less than $17,500 if single, $20,000 if married and filing jointly with one qualifying spouse, or $25,000 if married, filing jointly with both parties qualifying.

AND

Your non-taxable Social Security or other pensions, annuities, or disability payments are less than $5,000 (if filing as head of household OR married and filing jointly with one qualifying party), $7,500 if married, filing jointly, and both parties qualify, or $3,750 if you’re married, filing separately, and lived apart for a full year.

Tip 4: No Early Withdrawal Penalties

Once you reach the age of 59 and a half, you will not be penalized for withdrawing money from your IRA account. Prior to that age, you would be required to pay a 10% fee. Moreover, if you leave a job or your employment is terminated and you’re 55 or older, you may also withdraw money from a 401(k) without any penalties. That said, you would have to pay tax on that additional income.

Tip 5: Seniors Enjoy a Higher Filing Threshold

Taxpayers ages 65 and older can earn an income of $1,600 more, or $2,600 if married, filing jointly, and both parties are 65 or older, before they need to file a tax return. So what that means is that older taxpayers with an income of $13,600 or less ($26,600 if married and filing jointly), may not even need to file an income tax return at all.

No matter what your situation, we hope you find these tips helpful! Tax prep for seniors doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor, and there are ways to ensure you get the highest possible benefit when filing your tax return.