Just like with so many other things, reaching age 65 means there are some changes in the tax rules, and some can be confusing. If you’re like the vast majority of seniors, we want you to know that the IRS provides free tax preparation for qualified U.S citizens!
If you’re a true do-it-yourselfer, we applaud you and want you to be well-educated on the Credit for Elderly or Disabled. This is issued to those 65 years or older, OR, those younger who are permanently and totally disabled. Your filing status and income will also be considered.
If you are not declaring itemized deductions, you (and your spouse, if 65 or older) can now declare an increased standard deduction. If either of you is blind, that deduction is even higher.
The most critical place to start the filing process is the correct tax form. Start here to see your 1040 and 1040-SR tax forms. The IRS provides all necessary explanation, but it admittedly it can still be intimidating. It never hurts to have a loved one work through it with you. Once you have the correct tax form, it’s critical that you find the categories below that describe you and highlight them. No other category details are necessary to file your taxes correctly and receive these new tax credits!
If you’re married, filing jointly, and only one spouse qualifies, your income must be less than $17,500, $20,000.
If you’re married, filing jointly and both qualify, your income must be less than $25,000.
If you’re married, filing separately, and lived apart from your spouse this entire year, your income must be less than $12,500.
In addition, your non-taxable part of your Social Security or other nontaxable pensions, annuities or disability income must be:
If single, head of household, or qualifying widow-er with a dependent child less than $5,000.
If married, filing jointly, and only one spouse qualifies, less than $5,000.
If married, filing jointly, and both qualify, less than $7,500.
If married, filing separately, and lived apart from your spouse this entire year, less than $3,750.
As you head toward filing this year’s taxes, make sure you’ve got all the details correct, or have someone to correct all the details. If you’re not confident in filing, be sure to take advantage of the free filing offered by the IRS!