Tax Benefits for Seniors: Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled

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Many times, seniors make errors when preparing their taxes that can result in complications. Even worse, they also overlook many of the major tax credits offered that can reduce their tax liability. Seniors can use the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled after they have carefully studied its qualifying factors to claim the credit.

Qualifying Factors for Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled

The elderly can use this tax credit if they are 65 years or older, retired or on permanent and total disability with taxable disability income. They may also use the IRS’ online interview facility at ‘Do I Qualify for the Credit For The Elderly or Disabled?’ where taxpayers answer questions to determine their eligibility and understand the particulars of this tax credit.

Only those taxpayers can qualify for this credit whose income on Form 1040 line 38 is:

  • Less than $17,500
  • $20,000 when married and filing jointly, and only one spouse qualifies
  • $12,500 when married filing separately and lived apart from spouse for a year

Only those taxpayers qualify for this tax credit whose non-taxable part of Social Security, non-taxable pensions, annuities or disability income is:

  • Less than $5,000 in case of single, head of household, qualifying widow/er with dependent child
  • $5,000 if married filing jointly and only one spouse qualifies
  • $7,500 if married filing jointly and both qualify for the credit
  • $3,750 if married filing separately and lived apart from spouse for a year

How to Apply for Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled

Qualifying individuals are required to supply the following information:

  • Age
  • Spouse's age
  • Filing status
  • Citizenship status
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Amounts and types of taxable income and non-taxable pensions

Taxpayers may use Schedule R (Form 1040 or 1040A), Credit for the Elderly or Disabled, to calculate the amount of the credit. Taxpayers must not file Form 1040EZ if they want to claim Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. They must apply for the Credit only after they are sure that they meet the requirements.

To calculate the correct amount of taxable Social Security, seniors may use the worksheet found within the instructions on IRS Form 1040 and Form 1040A. IF seniors are still unsure of their calculations, they should hire a tax professional to assist them with their tax filings.

From the author: Tax Resolution Legal Team
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