If you are over the age of 60, then there is a good chance that you have unencumbered yourself of the burden to file and pay taxes. For those seniors who are only on Social Security, none of your benefits are taxable.
With that said, many seniors continue to be gainfully employed or are self-employed. There is no magical age where an individual gets to stop filing tax returns. Whether you are 19 or 90, if earned income is over a certain threshold, the IRS will require that a tax return be filed.
Are there any resources available to seniors in order to get free tax assistance?
As part of various educational and outreach programs operated by the IRS, Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offers free tax help to individuals age 60 and older.
Trained volunteers from various non-profit organizations make themselves available to provide free tax counseling and basic income tax return preparation for senior citizens. Many of these volunteers are seniors themselves who worked in the field of taxation at some point.
The IRS provides grant money to TCE locations and programs to fund operation expenses, as well as training and technical assistance. Grant funds are used to reimburse volunteers for out-of-pocket expenses they incur, including transportation, meals, and other expenses with providing tax counseling assistance at locations convenient to taxpayers.
The IRS role in TCE operations is to train and test volunteers to ensure they are able to provide competent service, provide guidelines and administrative materials, oversee control measures and reporting requirements and make available IRS forms and publications. Individuals who work at TCE sites have preferential telephone access to IRS Customer Service Reps for technical support.
The IRS places special emphasis on reaching elderly people who are shut-in, blind, disabled, as well as those members of minority groups.
The IRS has also partnered with AARP in rolling out TCE sites.
According to the IRS, as part of the IRS-sponsored TCE Program, AARP offers a Tax-Aide counseling program at approximately 6,500 locations nationwide in senior centers, libraries, community centers, and other convenient locations across the country.
Trained and certified AARP Tax-Aide volunteer counselors help people of low-to-middle income with special attention to those aged 60 and older. For more information on TCE call 1-800-829-1040. To locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit AARP’s Website .
In order to receive technical assistance with a specific tax matter or have your tax return prepared at a TCE, you will need to bring photo ID, a valid Social Security card for yourself, your spouse and any dependents that you are able to claim, all of your earning statements, and a copy of your prior year’s tax return, if available. For more information on IRS volunteer sites, see the heading IRS Free Tax Return Preparation for You by Volunteers at IRS.gov.
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Tax filing requirements for retired taxpayers
IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers – Open and ready to help you
Military personnel and their familes may qualify for free tax assistance