Most people dread tax season. Filing tends to be a long and confusing process, the tax laws are always changing, and it’s troubling not knowing if you’re going to end up owing more money to the government or wind up with a tax refund check.
Even those with relatively simple financial situations usually prefer some guidance when it comes to filing their taxes. Retirement, government benefits, increasing health care costs and other financial changes can make this process especially complicated for seniors. Fortunately, more and more helpful resources are becoming available to American taxpayers. Whether you’ve hit a roadblock while trying to prepare your own taxes or need assistance filing on behalf of an aging loved one, it’s likely you can find the help you need on the list of resources below.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
The AARP Foundation provides the nation’s largest volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service available to all, with special attention given to low- and moderate-income taxpayers and those age 50 and older. All AARP volunteers are trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
IRS Tax Help Programs
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available to taxpayers who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and taxpayers who speak limited English. The IRS also offers a free Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program for all taxpayers, particularly those who are age 60 and older. VITA and TCE volunteers are IRS-certified and these sites are open from February through April. It is worth noting that there is some crossover between the TCE program and the AARP Tax-Aide program. Nonprofit organizations (such as the AARP Foundation) receive grants from the IRS to provide free tax counseling to their local community members. The IRS offers many other online resources and tax help tools, including IRS Free File.
IRS Tax Information for Elders
For those who are simply looking for information on what types of retirement income are taxable or the eligibility requirements for certain tax deductions and credits, the IRS has your back. Visit the IRS’ Tax Information for Seniors & Retirees site for tax answers that apply specifically to older adults and retired individuals.
Area Agencies on Aging
There are Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) serving seniors in communities across the United States. AAAs offer an array of services, benefits and information to help support seniors and family caregivers. Since IRS and AARP tax help appointments are filling up quickly at sites across the country, you may need to look into alternate sources of assistance. Try contacting your AAA to see if there are other free or low-cost tax preparation resources available in your local community.
Content provided by Aging Care.