Skip to main content

Tax tips for seniors

February 28, 2013

The deadline to file taxes is little over a month away , and even though retirees may have been doing their taxes for decades, there might be some nuances they not have picked up on once they left the workforce. Specifically, older adults may qualify for certain tax breaks that could cut down on their senior living costs. To help retirees navigate the oft-complicated world of taxes, the IRS recently released some tips to make the process a bit easier.

Perhaps most importantly, adults 65 and older qualify for the standard deduction for seniors, which is ideal for those older adults who don't itemize their deductions. The rate is higher than it is for those who are under 65. Additionally, if an older adult or his or her spouse is blind, they are entitled to another tax break, according to the IRS.

Of all the retirement costs of living, medical expenses may be the most substantial, so it's lucky that many of the most significant medical costs are deductible. Seniors can write off everything from long-term care insurance premiums to nursing home care to any other out-of-pocket expenses they might have encountered in the past year. 

Social Security plays another significant role in senior living, and older adults should take care to calculate the correct amount of taxable income they receive from the program. The IRS has resources available, including the Social Security benefits worksheet located on Forms 1040 and 1040A, which can help streamline the process. 

Of course, if seniors are unsure of exactly what deductions they're eligible for or how to calculate their Social Security income, there are many resources available. Checking the IRS website is good start, but asking a family or friend to lend a hand or even reaching out to professional financial advisors can be a big help.