Elderly Feed

Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images Tax season 2024 officially starts Monday, Jan. 29. Lots of taxpayers have already filled out their 1040 forms and are just waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to start processing them next week. Most of these early filers are expecting tax refunds. They also likely have relatively simple tax lives. Lucky them. Others, however, have more complicated tax and financial circumstances. These folks have more tax documents with details that must be transferred to their return forms and schedules. They also need to consider how their situations might affect their tax returns. Below is... Read more →


Tax season 2024 officially starts on Jan. 29, and millions of taxpayers are getting ready to deliver their returns that day to the Internal Revenue Service. Some, however, are asking a more basic question. Do I have to file a Form 1040 at all? The answer probably is yes. If you're asking the question, you likely made some money, and the Internal Revenue Code doesn't exempt much from taxation. But as with all things tax, there are exceptions. In some situations, Uncle Sam doesn't demand individuals file. Here's a look at whether you might be able to join that group... Read more →


To ensure you have the type of retirement you want, you must do some calculations, including figuring how your required minimum distributions fit in, financially and tax-wise. (Photo via Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) Retirement savings can make a big difference in how enjoyable your post-work years will be. If you have tax-deferred retirement accounts, those savings also present new tax responsibilities once you reach a certain age. Some money in a traditional IRA that's been out of the Internal Revenue Service's reach for years must be taken out as a required minimum distribution, or RMD. Uncle Sam also... Read more →


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash Taxes are all about the numbers, and this past week I've been posting inflation-adjusted figures that apply to a variety of tax provisions. Long-time readers know I parcel the numbers out in a 10-part series. But one of those posts, Part 3 on cost-of-living boosts in 2024 for tax-favored retirement savings plans, was published first because the Internal Revenue Service typically issues those adjustments first. Since that earlier Part 3 post hasn't gotten a sequential mention during this recent run of inflation series posts, I'm boosting it today. And I'm pulling out an item... Read more →


Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images If you've been to a doctor recently, refilled a subscription, had to go to an emergency room, or just bought over-the-counter medications, you know that all these treatments cost a lot more than in previous years. It's enough to make you sick, or at least nudge up your blood pressure a bit. However, the tax code might have an Rx that can help. There are a variety of medical tax breaks that can help lower your federal tax bill. Several of them are adjusted each year to account for inflation. Here, in Part 5... Read more →


Taxes are all about numbers, but generally speaking, we taxpayers are not big math fans. That's why we hire tax professionals or use tax software. That aversion to doing more calculations is why most of us have chosen, year-in and year-out, to claim the standard deduction. Sure, I know, we should use the tax deduction method, either standard or itemizing, that gives up the better tax due result. Still, I know some folks who use the standard deduction method without even comparing because, as noted, it's easier. There are no receipts to save, no additional adding, subtracting, and figuring percentages.... Read more →


Substitute a cat for the dog, and that's pretty much how the hubby and I envision retirement! (Photo: Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) OK, boomer. When that catchphrase meme went viral a few years ago, it marked the end of friendly generational relations. It also could be seen as a wake-up call to retirement savers. With Social Security already facing financial challenges, many point to the added challenges that Uncle Sam's retirement program faces as even more of the Baby Boom generation retires. Congress has yet to address Social Security's future. Of course, the House and Senate seem to... Read more →


Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash In these hectic times, you might think you don't have any more minutes to offer, especially in an unpaid capacity. But volunteering can pay off in unexpected ways. You can meet new people, and make new friends, who share your passion. Many times, you learn new skills, some of which could help advance your paying career. The satisfaction of helping others also just might make you happier. That's something that all of us could use. And if your inclination to assist involves taxes, then you are exactly who the Internal Revenue Service is seeking.... Read more →


Super helpful is how millions of taxpayers describe VITA and TCE volunteers each tax-filing season. The IRS has awarded new grants to keep the nationwide free tax preparation and filing programs going. (Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash) More than 62 million of us did our own taxes and e-filed them this tax season, at least through May 12, the date of the Internal Revenue Service's latest count. That represented almost 44 percent of all 2022 tax year filings so far. Some of those taxpayers, however, got some no-cost help from IRS-trained volunteers in filling out and electronically filing their... Read more →


The coming wage base bump also means more FICA taxes for higher earners. It looks like this man got the good news that his Social Security benefit will be larger next year. However, the tax news for high earners who are still working isn't as welcome. (Unsplash+ in collaboration with Getty Images) The Social Security Administration (SSA) gave 71 million benefits recipients good news today. Next year, they'll get a 3.2 percent increase in their Social Security retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The cost-of-living (COLA) bump means that retirees will, on average in 2024, see more than... Read more →


UPDATED, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023: The United States tends to be the target of tropical systems that form in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. But this week, California is in the path of Pacific-spawned Hurricane Hilary. And depending on Hilary's precise path, she could substantially impact Arizona, and even Nevada. Now is the time for West Coast residents and their inland neighbors to get ready. The Weather Channel meteorologist Ari Sarsalari says we don't need to worry too much about the low-pressure system that's formed in the Gulf of Mexico. You can watch his full forecast by clicking the... Read more →


Remember the 94-year-old Minnesota woman whose home was seized by country tax collectors after she stopped paying her property tax bills? Such action is commonplace, as noted in my earlier post on this topic. But in Geraldine Tyler's case, Hennepin County kept all the money it got when it sold her condo, not just the amount needed to cover her delinquent real estate taxes. Those taxes, plus penalties, interest, and other costs, came to $15,000. The Minnesota county got $40,000 for the property. Yesterday (May 25), the Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, unanimously ruled in Tyler's favor.... Read more →


Photo by Gustavo Fring Millions of Americans are worrying about the damage to their retirement accounts if the United States (aka Congress) defaults on the country's debt. But there's another retirement fear that could put federal and state governments on the hook for trillions more dollars. Many Americans aren't saving enough for retirement, and new research says that if the trend continues unabated, the country could by 2040 face a retirement savings gap and resulting economic burden of almost $1.3 trillion. The federal government would bear the bulk of the saving shortfall, $964 billion. The remaining $334 billion burden would... Read more →


Updated, Thursday, May 25, 2023 (see so-noted paragraph below) The interior of the U.S. Supreme Court (Photo by Phil Roeder, Flickr via Wikipedia) April is not a fun fiscal month for a lot of us. In addition to Tax Day, when many of us, including the hubby and me, owe the U.S. Treasury a bit, along with an estimated tax payment, it is property appraisal time here in Texas. The last couple of years, that's been particularly distressing. If we were putting our house on the market like a couple of our neighbors, we'd be happy that we could ask... Read more →


Photo by Nicola Barts If you turned 72 last year and didn't take your first required minimum distribution (RMD) by Dec. 31, 2022, you have a few days to take the mandatory withdrawal. April 1 is your deadline to take out the specified amount from your tax-deferred retirement savings account(s). This year, however, is the last one for the age 72 RMD trigger. The latest retirement law changes in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act 2.0 changed the RMD starting age to 73. However, there's been a bit of confusion about the change. Some people have... Read more →


Blinders may work for horses, but they're terrible for taxpayers who might miss out on some tax savings. (Photo by Graham Ruttan on Unsplash) The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's expansion of the standard deduction amounts means even more taxpayers are using that filing method. Most think that since they don't itemize, they don't need to worry about tax breaks. They're wrong. There are the above-the-line deductions, officially known as adjustments to income, that anyone can take (if they qualify), regardless of whether they take the standard deduction or use Schedule A. Then there are some tax credits, again available... Read more →


If you're in your seventies, it's time to start preparing for nest egg withdrawals, some of which are required by federal tax law. A couple of new retirement laws over the last few years, collectively known as the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Acts, have made a lot of changes to retirement plans and the collection of associated taxes. One revision was the bumping up the date when most older owners of tax-deferred retirement accounts must start taking some money from these savings. Starting in 2023, required minimum distributions, known by the acronym RMDs, don't kick in... Read more →


You need to file your taxes, but you need help. You're on a tight budget, so you gave Free File a look. But you quickly discovered that you want more help than a tax software program provides. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) could be your answer. VITA and TCE sites are nationwide, usually at locations that are convenient for community residents to find and get to. They are staffed by Internal Revenue Service-trained volunteers. In many locations, the tax preparers are able to help taxpayers whose first language isn't English. And they are... Read more →


Photo by Polina Zimmerman While millions are debating when to file their tax return, others are asking a more elemental question. Do I have to file a 1040 at all? It's a good question. The short answer is probably. But there are some situations where the Internal Revenue Service doesn't demand individuals file. Here's a look at just who is off the tax filing hook. Filing requirements for most of us: Generally, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident you must consider three things when determining whether you have to file a tax return: your age, your filing status,... Read more →


Every filing season, eager taxpayers, most of them expecting a refund, send their returns to the Internal Revenue Service as soon as they can. For most it works out OK. Others, however, discover on their own, or learn from the IRS, something just not quite right, and costly, on their Form 1040. It works the other way, too. In some instances, folks submit a return without claiming a tax break that would have saved them dollars. The IRS isn't going to tell you about that! The best way to make sure you enter all the data that the IRS wants,... Read more →