Tax Preparation Tips for Senior Citizens

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Tax Preparation Tips for Senior Citizens

Tax time has rolled around again and people are trying to get their tax information put together.  But what all do you actually need?  Income, of course, but what else?  Do I need receipts and if so, for what items? Questions abound and hopefully, this article will clear some of them up.

The first thing you should find is your last year’s return.  It is very helpful for the person doing your taxes to be able to compare the returns.  If there is a major difference, they can pinpoint the cause and explain it to you.  If you itemized last year, they can see that. Also, it helps them determine if they have all the information needed to file.

When having your return done, be sure you have your social security number and a picture id if going to someone you do not personally know.  They will need that as well as address, phone number, and work status. If you are married, you will need all the forms mentioned in this article for both of you.

Income is reported on several different forms including a W-2 if you physically are working.  1099s are used to report income such as pensions and annuities (1099-R), interest and dividends (1099-INT or 1099-DIV) and sale of stock income (1099-B). If you have sold stock, you will also need to provide a basis (or the original price) of the stock.  Social security is reported on a 1099-SSA.

Depending on your situation, you may plan to itemize.  You would then need receipts for any out of pocket medical expenses.  This could include doctor visit co-pays, prescription drug co-pays or fees, any insurance premiums including medicare part B & D and supplemental health insurance, long term care insurance, hospital bills, and home health care, as well as vision needs such as glasses.  You can also claim charitable contributions to your church or any recognized charity such as: Red Cross, United Way, St. Jude’s, etc.  You cannot claim money given to an individual or family member in need.

Missouri offers the Property Tax Credit for individuals over 65.  This credit is based on income (including Social Security) and the amount you pay for real estate taxes or rent. To take this credit, you will need to have a copy of your paid real estate tax receipt or a rent receipt from your landlord.