Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Here are four tax tips for seniors

- By Jennifer Singley

Does anyone else get a bit anxious as tax season approaches, or is it just me? Before you ask, no, I’m not an accountant, nor am I even married to one. I dread tax season because, well, it’s just not something I’ve historical­ly been very good at.

I’m not a numbers person, and I’ll never pretend to be. When faced with a task involving any sort of calculatin­g, the best calculatin­g I do is to calculate how to avoid doing it for as long as possible.

Maybe to some of you, this is completely unrelatabl­e, but for the rest of you … this is for you.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Tax season is just a season, after all. It, too, shall pass. And you can conquer your taxes like a pro (or just hire a pro — I won’t tell) with this list of the top tax concerns for seniors like yourself.

Social Security benefits are taxable, but how much?

Your yearly Social Security benefit may be subject to tax, though the exact percentage of how much is taxable depends on your filing status and income level.

Everything you need to know is laid out at https:// w w w.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/taxes. html, but in the meantime, be on the lookout for your Social Security Benefit Statement (Form SSA-1099) in the mail this month. You’ll need it when filing your federal income tax return to find out if your benefits are indeed subject to tax.

Know the rules around Required Minimum Distributi­ons

Did you know that you must withdraw funds from your retirement accounts every year after a certain age?

Many other factors are at play regarding Required Minimum Distributi­ons, so get familiar with the guidelines set forth by the IRS to find out all you need to know at https://www. irs.gov/retirement-plans/ retirement-plans-faqs-regarding-required-minimum-distributi­ons.

Live off your assets with tax efficiency

To really stretch your retirement income, pay close attention to how you structure it so that you’re paying the lowest tax rates possible.

Some retirement investment accounts are pre-tax, while others are after-tax investment accounts, each with different implicatio­ns when you withdraw from them. This is where a tax profession­al can offer you the best guidance, so consider consulting with one to ensure you’re on track to make the most of your income.

Know what to you do when your spouse passes away

Taxes are likely the furthest thing from your mind during a time of loss. While it’s hard to talk about, it’s important to know that — as the surviving spouse — will need to file your deceased spouse’s taxes.

You’ll find answers to all the questions you may have never thought to ask until now, including which filing status to choose and how to sign the documents, at https:// w w w.irs.gov/newsroom/ how-to-file-a-final-taxreturn-for-someone-whohas-passed-away.

No matter the season, life at The Hickman reflects the Quaker values upon which it was founded in 1891: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardshi­p. On our park-like campus within beautiful downtown West Chester, our residents enjoy living as independen­tly as possible with the comfort of knowing that round-theclock care is right here if needed. We invite you to visit and see for yourself how “when you’re here, you’re home.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States