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Mar 16, 2023

Tax Preparation Tips for Older Adults

Tax preparation tips for seniors

For many older adults, tax season can be a stressful time. It is a complex task that requires a lot of planning. But with the right approaches and tools, it's possible to make tax time smoother and less daunting this year.

If you are helping your senior loved one file their taxes this year, in this post, we covered easy-to-follow tips on how to better handle the tax filing process so your elderly loved one can maximize their refunds without too much fuss or worry. Let’s dive in!

Take advantage of any tax credits or deductions available

Depending on their situation, senior citizens have access to various tax breaks, credits, and deductions that aren’t available to younger people, which can lower what they owe in taxes each year.

For example, if a senior and their spouse are 65 or older, they may be able to claim a higher standard deduction if they don’t itemize the tax deductions. In addition, seniors 65 years or older may apply for Credit for the Elderly if they meet the filing status and income requirements. In Louisiana, seniors may also qualify for additional benefits, such as Social Security benefits, Extra Personal Exemption, and Homestead Exemption.

A great way to make sure your elderly loved one isn’t missing out on tax credits and deductions is to get professional assistance. The good news is there are several tax preparation services available to seniors at no charge, which we will discuss further in the next section.

Take advantage of free tax preparation services for seniors

Older adults qualify for free, trusted tax preparation services, which are available through government and nonprofit organizations, such as the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. These organizations provide critical support and resources to the elderly to prepare their tax returns.

In addition to providing help with preparation and filing, these tax prep services also offer advice on credits and deductions, as well as counseling on investment strategies and retirement planning. Moreover, utilizing these resources could result in more refunds or credits since the volunteers are knowledgeable and have a better understanding of how tax deductions work.

Stay on top of tax filing and payment deadlines

It is especially critical for seniors to be aware of their tax due dates and ensure that they file on time, to avoid accruing penalties and interests. It can be a daunting task, but there are several helpful ways to help remind you and your loved one about the deadlines:

  • Use physical reminders, such as sticky notes, and stick them on the refrigerator or bedroom door.
  • Set up digital reminders using a mobile app like Google Calendars or Apple Calendar.
  • Set up reminders using smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home.

If your elderly relative chooses to pay their taxes online, verify that the website connection is secure before entering their credit or debit card information to prevent scams. Look for the lock symbol in the URL field of the browser and make sure the website address starts with “https” instead of “http”. You can also check out our previous post on steps to protect seniors from cybercrimes for more information.

Double-check the forms for accuracy before filing

This step is critical to reduce mistakes and avoid delays or costly re-filing fees, but can easily be overlooked due to various reasons. Older adults are more likely to need assistance from their family members or caregivers to review all the information and supporting documents thoroughly before mailing or submitting the tax forms.

Filing taxes can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for seniors who could use some extra help. We hope our tips give you a better idea of what to consider when preparing tax returns for older adults. By following these tips, your senior loved one should be able to breeze through their tax preparation with ease. 

Tax professionals are a great resource if you need further assistance in understanding how to navigate taxes for your senior loved one. However, if you are looking for in-home senior care services, such as transportation, personal care, or companionship, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

Our professional CAREGivers provide the best in-home care for seniors wherever they call home, including at senior housing in Lafayette, LA, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today, and our Care Manager will work with you to create a home care plan that meets your senior loved one's needs.

Interested in becoming a CAREgiver? Check out our available positions here.

Contact Us (337) 295-7990
When you need in-home care services, look to Home Instead® to deliver the excellence and compassion you deserve. Learn more about the experienced in home care​ we deliver.
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