Now that tax season is upon us, everyone has to complete the dreaded paperwork. This can be compounded if you are helping an elderly loved one or other senior in your life file. Here are some tips for ensuring it gets done in good faith and on time!
Use Accounting Tools
Perhaps mom or dad want to keep filling out their taxes by pen and paper and mailing it in. This year, it’s time to change that. Take advantage of accounting tools like TurboTax to ensure you are not overlooking anything. If you usually hire a professional to help with taxes, ensure your elderly loved one is connecting with them in a timely manner and nothing is getting overlooked.
Credits & Deductions
Filing taxes for 2018 will undoubtedly look different than previous years because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. There is a credit for elderly caregivers, increased standard deduction amounts, and more. Factoring in social security and qualifying for the Credit for the Elderly and Disabled are more pieces of the puzzle. Be sure you collect all the paperwork ahead of time so they do not miss out on a larger tax return!
Patience & Progress
Taxes can be frustrating for anyone, but especially for seniors who often have complicated financial situations. Be sure when you are helping seniors through tax season, you exercise a little more patience than usual. It is a good idea to plan multiple sessions to go through tax documents and filing rather than trying to get it done in one afternoon.
Protect Information & Identity
The last tax season saw a marked increase of scammers. Speak with the senior you are helping to file taxes about how to avoid falling prey to internet viruses and phone call scams claiming to be the IRS. Protect their identity by reminding them to communicate any inquiries or concerns they have to the people who helped them file.
With these tips in mind, helping the seniors in your life file their taxes will go smoothly!