What to know about taxes and stimulus checks

What to know about taxes and stimulus checks

Some seniors are confused about their status regarding “stimulus checks,” the government payments designed to help people through the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not surprising, as there have been a total of three rounds of payments, authorized by two separate acts of Congress. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was passed early in 2020, and the first round of payments went out in April of that year. A second round of CARES payments was authorized in Dec 2020. The April payments were set at $1200 for single filers and $2400 for couples filing jointly, while December’s were for one half those amounts ($600 per individual and $1200 per couple).  Income thresholds for both CARES payments were the same: up to $75,000 for single filer and $150,000 for couples filing jointly. Both CARES payments phased out slowly above those thresholds. In March 2021, a third round of stimulus payments was authorized by the American Rescue...
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Should Seniors File a Tax Return, Even If It Isn’t Required?

Should Seniors File a Tax Return, Even If It Isn’t Required?

Filing a tax return can be an irritating and time-consuming task. Given that, why should anyone (especially seniors) file a return when they are not legally required to do so? There may be several good reasons. No one who does not have taxable income is legally required to file a tax return. From the tax collector’s point of view, the purpose of tax filing is to collect revenue. However, like Social Security numbers, the tax return has turned into a valuable credential in some circumstances. Qualifying for some senior-centered programs like Section 8 Housing or Senior Exemptions on real estate taxes may require producing this document. Applying for a bank loan, refinancing an existing mortgage or taking out a new one, and numerous other financial transactions may require a tax return. In the past year, the economic stimulus payments associated with the Covid-19 pandemic have been processed through the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS uses the most current data available to it,...
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Why tax-deductible items are not what they appear

Why tax-deductible items are not what they appear

| Written by Brett Porter, EA for Winter 2020 Edition of OurSeniors.net Magazine | Every year you hear it. You may even say it yourself. “I can just write it off on my taxes,” but can you really? Most people are completely confused as to whether or not all their tax deductions are even making a difference. Why is this? Most people find their tax return to be a huge burden—they do not want to think about it throughout the year, they do not want to do it come April, and they most certainly do not want to review what all those numbers are on their 1040. They just want to hand in their information to their accountant and be done with it. Do you know if you itemized last year? A lot of people do not even know that there are two options—itemizing or the standard deduction, or what these options mean. They just hear throughout their life that certain items are...
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