The Phoenix


- By Courtney Diener-Stokes

With federal income taxes due on April 18, not April 15 this year, many of us have our sights set on that deadline right about now.

Something to keep in mind are the tax breaks you don’t want to miss out on when you fall into the 50-plus age category.

Here are some tips from www.

Tax tips to keep on your radar

For 2022, the contributi­on limit for employees who participat­e in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 retirement saving plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan has been increased to $20,500, from $19,500 in 2021.

Employees 50 and older can add an additional $6,500, for a total of $27,000. The contributi­on limit for a traditiona­l or Roth IRA is unchanged, at $6,000. The catch-up is $1,000, the same as for 2021. It is $3,000 for a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) plan.

Aside from making your retirement more comfortabl­e, contributi­ng to a tax-deferred retirement plan, such as an IRA or a 401(k), also reduces your income — which, in turn, reduces your income taxes. Thanks to that reduction in taxes, increasing your contributi­on won’t take as much of a bite from your paycheck as you might think.

The standard deduction, which reduces your taxable income and, in turn, lowers your tax bill, gets better with age. In 2022, when you fill out your federal income tax forms for income earned in 2021, married couples will get a standard deduction of $25,100, up $300 from tax year 2020.

For single taxpayers and married individual­s filing separately, the standard deduction rises to $12,550, up $150 from the previous year.

If you are 65 or older and file as a single taxpayer, you get an extra $1,700 standard deduction for tax year 2021 and an extra $1,750 for tax year 2022.

Married and filing jointly? The extra standard deduction is less per person if only one person is 65 or older — $1,350 for the tax year. If both are 65 or older, the standard deduction increases by $2,700. For taxpayers who are both 65-plus and blind, the extra deduction is doubled. Source:

Federal income tax deadlines

Tax filing season began Jan. 24, when the tax agency began accepting and processing 2021 tax year returns.

The deadline to file your federal income tax returns is April 18 instead of April 15, and an extension can be filed for Oct. 15.


Get your taxes done for free

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides in-person and virtual tax assistance to anyone, free of charge, with a focus on taxpayers who are over 50 and have low to moderate income. Tax-Aide volunteers are located nationwide and are trained and IRS-certified every year to make sure they know about and understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code.

Tax-Aide sites are open for the 2022 tax season. This year, tax assistance is available by appointmen­t only.

For more informatio­n: https:// taxaide.aarpfounda­

 ?? COURTESY OFF MIKHAIL NILOV, FREE PUBLIC DOMAIN ?? There are tax breaks for those 50 and older you might not be aware of.
COURTESY OFF MIKHAIL NILOV, FREE PUBLIC DOMAIN There are tax breaks for those 50 and older you might not be aware of.

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