Tax Help for Seniors and Retirees – 2013 Tax Tips

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If you’re in your senior years and have questions about filing taxes, you should know that there is help available. You may take advantage of two organizations that can help you through this year’s tax season: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE).

VITA

The IRS-certified volunteers provide help with basic tax preparation questions to qualified individuals. The help is directed toward people with annual income of $51,000 or less. Help offered includes: electronic preparation and filing, consulting on potential credits, and latest tax changes. You can reach VITA by calling 1-800-906-9887 or using this locator tool VITA centers stay typically open from January until April.

TCE

This group is operated by AARP Foundation’s Tax Aid Program and provides advice to seniors 60 years or older. Help offered includes: pensions and retirement questions for seniors, tax counseling, business income, itemized and standard deductions, or child care credits. You can reach TCE at 1-888-227-7669 or search for location by clicking here TCE centers stay typically open from January until April.

Why use the Centers?

Once you reach a retirement age, you should know how to manage different sources of income for tax purposes. In fact, the number of retirees who maintain active to supplement income is growing. One of the greatest benefits of visiting either of the two centers is that you will learn how to eliminate common errors retirees make on their tax returns. Those errors include calculating taxable social security benefits depending on filing status, calculating the tax on qualified dividends, and not claiming higher standard deductions for seniors 65 and older.

What to bring

You may want to have your tax return prepared at one of the centers. In order to make the process smooth, make sure you have the following documents:

  • Picture ID.
  • Social security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for your and everyone else included on tax return.
  • Birthdates.
  • Statement of income earned such as W2, W2G, 1099R, 1099MISC.
  • Statement(s) of interest and/or dividends earned.
  • If you expect a refund and would prefer a direct deposit, account number and routing number of your bank (a bank check has all that information).
  • Cost of daycare and daycare provider’s tax ID.
  • If filing electronically, both spouses must be present to sign all required documents.

Helpful links

 

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