6 Tax-Time Tips for Seniors

April 15—this year’s tax deadline—is right around the corner. How can you and the older adults in your life save as much as possible? Here are 6 tips to consider.

1. See if there’s a tax relief program that can help you.

You may be able to lower your annual property tax bills or get a tax credit from local programs such as abatement, circuit breaker, or work-off programs. On average, you can save $500-$2,000 annually with this assistance if you qualify. NCOA’s free online BenefitsCheckUp® service can help you find available programs—and even apply online. Use BenefitsCheckUp®

2. Get free tax assistance from the IRS.

The IRS’ Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program offers free tax help for people aged 60+, with a focus on pensions and retirement issues. The IRS also offers self-assistance service at select locations. If you have a simple tax return and need a little help or don’t have access to a computer, you can visit one of the sites to have an IRS-certified volunteer guide you through the process. Find out more from the IRS

3. Protect yourself from tax scams.

Scammers commonly target older adults at tax time. A recent property tax scam in San Diego saw fraudsters sending personalized letters to homeowners offering a paid reassessment to help reduce taxes. Learn about scams and how to protect yourself

4. Explore how to use and protect your home equity.

If you’re a homeowner, your house is likely your biggest financial asset. You may be able to tap into your equity to pay for your expenses. NCOA’s Home Equity Advisor website can help you explore your financial situation and possible solutions. Take a free Quick Check to get personalized tips and resources. Visit Home Equity Advisor

5. Review this year’s changes in the tax law.

The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement offers a 2012 Tax Update with changes in the tax law that might affect what you have to pay. See what’s new

6. Save your tax refund.

For individuals with limited incomes, tax time is often one of the only opportunities to save. If you receive a large refund, consider putting the money into a savings account or into U.S. Savings Bonds. New tax forms now include purchase options for U.S. Savings Bonds. Learn about savings bonds

 

28 comments

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you Tracy, for Sharing this!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

thanks for the tips. If you do owe the IRS, they will work with you. We owed one year and they set up a payment plan for us.

Edith B.
Edith B.3 years ago

Thanks for the tips! I have used Turbo tax for the last six years and it has worked well. I used a well known company for years until their tax preparer made a huge mistake that caused us to be audited. I had to work out the problems with IRS by myself.

Robert O.
Robert O.3 years ago

Thank you Tracy.

Marie W.
Marie W.3 years ago

Do not rely on IRS to help.

John B.
John B.3 years ago

Thanks Tracy for the article, info, tips and links.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.3 years ago

TY

Katie K.
Katie K.3 years ago

Scary but life is to short to worry yourself to death over money and the pound that the government takes. Alot has to do with how much stuff you need and in the grand scheme of things we really don't require that much stuff.

Nance N.
Nance N.3 years ago

Good tips. Thank you.

Nicole W.
Nicole W.3 years ago

good tips, thank you