Tax Return Tips for Seniors
IRS tips for seniors on avoiding tax return processing errors that cause refund delays.
Publication curtesy of IRS Dallas Local Taxpayer Advocate Office January 2022
Tips for Avoiding Tax Return Processing Errors that Cause Refund Delays
- Use your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, not your pay stub, to report your income.
- Double-check to ensure that all information on your tax return is correct.
- Be aware of tax return preparation software that imports prior year data automatically.
- Attach all required tax forms and schedules when you submit your tax return.
- Include all income to prevent underreporting. You may receive a Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, for Social Security benefits and/or a Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., for pension income. You should include this income on your Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040-SR, U.S. Income Tax Return for Seniors, in addition to any other income you may have received during the year.
Information and Resources
- IRS Free File lets you prepare and file your federal income tax return online for free.
- The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers FREE tax help to individuals who are age 60 or older. The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program also offers free tax return preparation for individuals who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers.
- You may be able to take the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled if:
- You are age 65 or older at the end of the tax year, or
- You retired on permanent and total disability and have taxable disability income.
- A portion of your Social Security benefits may be taxable based on your other income and filing status.
- You may be eligible for assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) if you have a problem you have been unable to resolve with the IRS.
- Avoid becoming a victim of fraud or scams. The IRS won’t initiate contact with you via email or text about a tax bill, refund or economic impact payment. Don’t click on email links that claim to be from the IRS. Fake emails, texts and websites attempt to steal your personal information.
- Tax Information for Seniors & Retirees
- Free tax help near you, call the IRS at 800-906-9887 or AARP TaxAide at 888-227-7669
- IRS Publication 525, Taxable and Non-taxable Income
- IRS Publication 524, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled