How to Get Senior Citizen Tax Assistance

by Linda Richard ; Updated July 27, 2017
Senior citizens rake in some tax benefits of age.

Senior citizens have the advantage of privilege that comes with age, and there is tax assistance available for qualifying seniors in almost all fifty states. Some help is available for state taxes and the federal government helps with tax information and assistance for seniors filing federal tax returns. Tax assistance is available in the form of literature, telephone help, group support or personal review with a tax aide. A few inquiries will get a senior citizen tax assistance.

Step 1

Start early to locate tax assistance to have the most choices. Assemble the paperwork and write down any questions. Complete a draft of the tax return to review and potentially resolve any questions.

Step 2

Look for assistance online. AARP is a source recommended by many and they offer free tax assistance. The Internal Revenue Service has online publications like 4644 that includes common errors made by seniors, and the importance of e-filing. E-filing can catch errors like an incorrect Social Security number and calculating taxes on Social Security benefits. Seniors often miss the higher standard deduction allowed and make errors in qualified dividends, according to Publication 4644. If you need additional forms for filing taxes, they are available online at the Federal Forms website.

Step 3

Write for information from the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to Publication 4644 available online, Publication 554 is an Older Americans’ Tax Guide. Tax Facts for Seniors with a Change in Marital Status (Publication 3864) and Pension and Annuity Income (Publication 575) are two more publications from the IRS prepared for seniors.

Step 4

Make contacts by telephone. AARP Tax Aide provides a toll-free telephone number. The U. S. Government provides Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) toll-free telephone numbers in Publication 4644. Write out the questions you need answered before making the telephone call, and have a paper and pencil handy for writing out the answers. Call again if you have additional questions.

Step 5

Set up a local appointment. If answers to your questions are not satisfactory by telephone or online or if you are not comfortable with preparing your own taxes, you can schedule a local appointment through TCE or VITA or AARP. The IRS website recommends that you bring proof of identification and Social Security cards for yourself and spouse as well as any dependents. Bring applicable dates of birth and the tax package you received, along with W-2s and 1099s. It helps to bring last year's state and federal returns, too, and your spouse must be present to e-file a joint return. Your bank routing numbers are essential for direct deposit of any tax refund. Take all information to the scheduled appointment and get free tax assistance by trained volunteers who can help file your taxes that day.

About the Author

Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration. She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a 1970s home.

Photo Credits

  • hobbygärtner image by Daniel Fuhr from Fotolia.com
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