Some Caregiver Tax Questions

taxesFor many caregivers, there are a number of different tax questions that they have to consider before they are able to do their taxes properly. These are a few of the different questions that we know that caregivers have asked before.

Are government benefits (Attendance, Social Security etc.) taxable?

There are different tax rules for different government benefits. Those not considered income for tax purposes include Aid and Attendance, and pensions. Other programs that are free from taxation include mortgage assistance benefits, Medicare benefits, disability insurance benefits, old age, and public assistance benefits.

Can more than one person claim an elder as dependent?

When it comes to offering caregiving or financial support for an older adult, oftentimes more than one family member is actively offering their assistance. If you are collectively offering more than 50 percent of the person’s support, you can claim them as a dependent. If you have multiple people assisting an older loved one, you have to make sure to prepare a Form 2120 (Multiple Support Declaration).

Am I able to deduct caregiving-related expenses?

You can subtract a number of different caregiving-related expenses from your taxable income. These range from home modifications for older adults to dentures. You will first need to determine whether you can claim the elder as a dependent before you are able to maximize these deductions. Whether you are claiming someone as a dependent will determine whether you can make some standard deductions.

When does an older adult need to file a tax return?

Depending on filing status, yearly income, and age, a person may not need to file a tax return. For 2015, those over the age of 65 will have to file a tax return if they have a gross income greater than:

  • Married filing separately: $6,300 (any age)
  • Married filing jointly: $21,800
  • Single: $11,850

There are many different questions that you might have when it comes to filing taxes or whether you would be able to deduct certain financial costs. Keep in mind that there are also a number of free tax preparation services for older adults. That way, you can have a trained professional help you with any additional tax questions that you may have.

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