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How to Help the Elderly with Taxes

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Tax season can be challenging for older adults because of the ever-changing tax rules. As a family caregiver, you may have to help your senior loved one during tax season. Here are a few tips on helping the elderly with taxes, brought to you by the Rhode Island senior home care experts at Home Care Assistance.

Always Reread the Applicable Tax Laws

Many seniors who live on fixed incomes believe their taxes will be nearly identical every year, but this assumption can result in major fines. Tax laws change all the time, and it’s vital to reread all codes, exemptions, and benefits before filing. This is especially important if seniors have any form of income aside from social security benefits. Their taxes might also be different if their health has changed and they are spending more on medical expenses.

Speak with an Advisor About Tax Credits

Even if they don’t plan on having a specialist prepare their taxes, seniors should still consider speaking with someone about new tax credits. Organizations such as the AARP can provide seniors with free assistance so they can receive the maximum refund. Many common age-related issues like a disability or medical emergency could make them eligible for new tax breaks.

Be Wary of Scams

Criminals often target seniors during tax season because of the complicated tax rules. As a general rule, seniors should never respond to any phone calls or emails from an individual claiming to be an IRS agent. They should only work with reputable, IRS-approved tax preparation companies. If your senior loved one is in doubt about a company, contact the IRS directly and inquire about the company. 

Collect and Organize Statements Once a Quarter

Seniors should try to update their tax folders at least once every three to four months. The folder needs to contain anything pertinent to their taxes such as bank statements, receipts, and medical bills. Family caregivers can also double-check to make sure their senior loved ones are receiving all the money they deserve from social security, retirement accounts, and pension plans.

Helping seniors with their taxes can be a time-consuming task. When managing your loved one’s finances and taxes, you may need to take a break from your caregiving duties. Let Home Care Assistance look after your aging loved one while you attend to important matters. We provide high-quality respite and live-in care Rhode Island families can count on. Our senior care plans can include healthy meal preparation, medication reminders, and assistance with daily activities to boost your loved one’s health and wellbeing. Call us at (401) 284-0979 today to create a tailored care plan for your senior loved one.