Tax Credit for the Elderly

I AM ELDERLY.

CAN I GET THE TAX CREDIT FOR THE ELDERLY OR THE DISABLED?

In order to get the credit, you need to satisfy two requirements: (1) you need to be a Qualified Individual, and (2) you cannot have too much income.

  1. ARE YOU A QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL?

You are a Qualified Individual if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen or resident alien AND
  • You were 65 or older at the end of 2011.

But, but, but…

  • If you are a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, you may be able to get the credit.
    • You and your spouse need to choose to treat you as a U.S. resident alien and you will both be taxed on your worldwide incomes.
  • If you are married at the end of the tax year, you and your spouse must file a joint return to get the credit. But there are some exceptions to that rule.
    • If you and your spouse did not live in the same household during the entire tax year, you can file either jointly or separately and still get the credit.
    • If you file as a head of household, you can get the credit even if your spouse lived with you the first 6 months of the year.

If you are NOT a Qualified Individual, then you CANNOT get the credit.

2.    DO YOU MAKE THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF INCOME?

You have determined that you are a Qualified Individual (citizen + 65 or older). Now you need to determine whether you make the right amount of income to qualify for the credit.

Note: The income we are discussing here is Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). You can find your AGI on line 37 of your Form 1040 or line 21 of your Form 1040A.

Make sure that you are filing Form 1040 or Form 1040A. If you file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040NR, you CANNOT get the credit.

If you are single , head of household , or a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child and either

  • Your income is $17,500 or more, OR
  • The total of your nontaxable social security and other nontaxable pension(s), annuities, or disability income is $5,000 or more

Then you CANNOT get the credit.

If you are married filing jointly and your spouse is not a Qualified Individual (citizen + 65 or older) and either

  • Your income is $20,000 or more, OR
  • The total of your nontaxable social security and other nontaxable pension(s), annuities, or disability income is $5,000 or more

Then you CANNOT get the credit.

If you are married filing jointly and both of you are Qualified Individuals (citizen + 65 or older) and either

  • Your income is $25,000 or more, OR
  • The total of your nontaxable social security and other nontaxable pension(s), annuities, or disability income is $7,500 or more

Then you CANNOT get the credit.

If you are married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2011 , and

  • Your income is $12,500 or more, OR
  • The total of your nontaxable social security and other nontaxable pension(s), annuities, or disability income is $3,750 or more

Then you CANNOT get the credit.

Have you satisfied both requirements? If you are both a Qualified Individual and make the right amount of income, then fill out a Schedule R and attach it to your Form 1040 or Form 1040A.

 





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