If you aren’t a tax preparer or CPA, you’re likely at least marginally confused by taxes – and you’re not alone. Property tax exemption, tax credit, tax returns, Social Security, property tax – just the thought of these is “taxing” on the brain. As we age, it can become even more difficult to understand taxes and tax preparation. A lack of sufficient funds, complex rules, changing technology – it’s no wonder that most older adults feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, there’s tax help for seniors available. Here, we’re going to examine some cost-free or low-cost services to help you through the daunting task of tax preparation and filing.
Tax Aide Through the AARP Foundation
One option for retirement-age individuals that may offer help regarding taxes is AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). Here are some AARP tax help options/benefits:
- Year-round Tax Aid Assistance program from the AARP.
- Contact AARP or visit their website early in the year to find community volunteers.
- In-person visits at banks, shopping malls, community centers, public libraries, etc. by tax preparers. (Starting early in the year and extending through the deadline of April 15, personal in-person visits may be available.)
- Both online and in-person, you can access tax aid volunteers through the AARP Foundation.
- To qualify, you don’t have to be an AARP member.
- If you need tax preparation services, these are available to those 50 years of age and up.
- The people who volunteer for AARP as tax aides include certified tax professionals certified by the IRS.
Though the programs listed next are brought to you courtesy of the government, if you need to seek out state-level tax help, you may be able to find assistance programs for retirement-age individuals courtesy of your state’s individual Treasury Department or Tax Bureau. There may also be local tax preparer associations or CPAs that work on a volunteer basis where retirement age individuals are concerned.
Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling from the Federal Government
Sometimes, the best solution is to go to the source when you have a problem. The IRS and tax confusion are two of those times. Retirement age individuals may be able to take advantage of a couple of programs offered by the federal government. They are as follows:
- The TCE program (tax counseling for the elderly): This is precisely designed to assist tax preparers who are retirement age or older. If you’re not sure which of these two services to use, you may wish to start here. This is particularly a helpful program if you’re on a fixed income. The service is operated by volunteer professionals who are IRS certified, so it’s free.
- The VITA program (volunteer income tax assistance): This program deals more with income tax than a fixed income, which is why the priorly suggested program is better if you’re on a fixed income. These volunteers are IRS-certified tax professionals and fully credentialed. They help those who aren’t particularly good at speaking and understanding English, disabled people, and those who fall below a certain income level. If you’re subject to income tax, this program could be well-suited to your needs.
Located throughout the United States, there are TCE and VITA programs and support centers. To find a location near you that offers these services, you can visit the website for the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/. Keep in mind, however, that they are not available in every area or you may simply prefer to work with an organization of a different type. In that case, the services offered previously could be your best bet.
It’s Time To Relax and Enjoy Senior Living at Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg
Even with someone to assist you, taxes can feel stressful. On the other hand, living is easy and, in fact, the setting is resort-like at Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg. With numerous programs from which to choose – involving exercise, special events, fine dining opportunities, and more – there’s always something to do. Then again, maybe you’d just like to sit back and relax, watch a movie, play a game, or do some other leisurely activity. The choice is yours when you reside in our incredible retirement community.