Many seniors no longer are required to file an income tax return because their taxable income is below the filing threshold. Some still file a return, even though not required to file, because of the withholding of taxes from their pensions or other income received throughout the year. They file only to get back which was not required to be withheld in the first place. Others, just don't feel comfortable not filing and are not sure whether there are any tax law changes that would require them to file this year.
In 2006, the IRS announced that it would stop collecting federal excise tax on long-distance telephone service. This 3% rate was eligible for refund on the 2006 tax return. Taxpayers could either take a standard amount for this credit based upon the exemptions claimed on the return, or could collect their bills received after Feb. 28, 2003 but before Aug. 1, 2006 and claim the actual amount paid on Form 8913.
During tax year 2008, taxpayers, who qualified, were able to receive a stimulus check as a means of stimulating a sluggish economy. However, to receive this check, a return had to be filed for the tax year 2007. Many seniors, who did not have to file, were required to file to receive their check.
This is a typical example of what can change in a year. Many seniors who had paid this tax on long distance service during this period of time were eligible for this refund. Even though they were not required to file a regular return, there was a new Form 1040EZ-T that could be filed to receive just this credit.
AtTotal Tax Solutions, we are very sensitive to the cost of living and how it affects our seniors. For this reason, we do have a Senior Citizen discount of 15%. We also dedicate the month of March as "Senior Citizen Month" where we add an additional 5% discount to seniors who have their taxes prepared during this time. Seniors who are unsure of whether they have to file and would just feel comfortable having their paper work reviewed, are welcome to make an appointment with us. For peace of mind, we will be happy to review your paperwork to determine if you have to file or are eligible for any current credits. There is no charge to review your paperwork.
Other advantages of having your paperwork checked vary by state:
In NH, if you are a homeowner, the State of NH has The Low & Moderate Income Homeowners Tax Relief Program. Eligible homeowners do not file this paperwork during the tax season, but must file it between May 1st and June 30th of each year. The form DP-8 does reference information from the federal tax return, but you do not have to file a federal return to qualify. We can determine whether you do qualify for this tax relief when reviewing your paperwork, and will help you to file the DP-8 during the allowed filing period. In MA, residents may qualify for the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit. This credit is a refundable credit, meaning that you will receive a refund even if you did not pay any taxes into the state. This credit is available to senior homeowners as well as seniors who rent. The forms for this credit are filed during the regular tax season. We have experienced over the years that many seniors who did not have to file a federal or state return were losing out on this credit because of lack of awareness. By taking advantage of our no charge for review, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that you have received any refund entitled to you.