Seniors can face unique challenges when filing their taxes because some of the laws change as a person ages. However, taxes can still be prepared properly with the right assistance. Here are a few tips for helping your elderly loved one with tax preparation, brought to you by the Prescott elder care experts at Home Care Assistance.
1. Find Out If Your Loved One Needs to File
More than half of the seniors in the United States do not need to file taxes due to low income, income entirely from Social Security, or disability. To determine if your loved one needs to file, look into the latest information provided by the IRS about who needs to do so.
2. Provide Help with Electronic Filing
Many seniors are not very computer savvy and become frustrated when trying to use tax preparation software and electronic filing options. Although it is still possible to file traditional paper forms, e-filing is faster and more convenient, and tax forms prepared through software programs are more likely to be accurate and to include all possible deductions. Simply lending a hand in using the computer can be very helpful for your loved one.
3. Assist with Disabilities
Seniors who have impaired vision or arthritis may require physical assistance to file their taxes. Acting as a reader or a typist for your loved one can help him or her successfully complete tax forms. If your loved one is experiencing cognitive decline or another memory-related condition, he or she may require additional help in locating the relevant paperwork and filling out the forms.
4. Consult the IRS
There may be some questions that arise you aren’t able to answer. The IRS offers many publications, FAQ webpages, and even free tax preparation software that can be very helpful when you’re assisting your loved one with taxes.
5. Obtain Professional Assistance
The IRS reports seniors are more likely than other age groups to make mistakes on their tax returns, partly due to their complex financial situations. Seeking assistance from a tax professional may be a good idea. The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) offers free assistance to seniors in preparing and filing taxes. To obtain this assistance for your loved one, contact the AARP to find the closest Tax-Aide center.
Preparing taxes and managing finances can be difficult, but the elderly often face more significant challenges maintaining their health. Turn to Home Care Assistance for help boosting your loved one’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Our part-time and live-in caregivers can provide mental stimulation, companionship, and assistance with many important tasks. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia care in Prescott. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (928) 771-0105 to schedule your free in-home consultation.