Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Highlights

Close

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Get the Tax Refund You're Owed

How to get every deduction you can, especially if you're 50+

En español | With the 2013 tax filing season under way, Americans are scrambling to find every deduction or credit available to them. Here are 10 steps that older taxpayers may be able to take to get the most in a refund on their 2012 returns.

Some of these steps are complex and require that you itemize your return, rather than take the standard deduction. And some deductions are claimable only in the amount that exceeds 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. Other restrictions may apply, so consult a tax adviser or use tax preparation software to see whether these tips can be put to work for you.

Man holds 1040 U.S. tax form-2012 Tax Tips for People Over 50

Get the most out of your income tax return. — Getty Images

1. Claim a portion of long-term care insurance premiums. The older you are, the higher the amount you can claim. Here's the scale: Age 40 or under, the maximum claimable amount is $350; 41 to 50, $660; 51 to 60, $1,310; 61 to 70, $3,500; 71 or over, $4,370.

2. Deduct the room and board costs of an assisted living facility if the resident is there mainly for medical purposes and is getting staff assistance to perform normal activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, or has cognitive impairment that requires supervision. The services are deductible, too. They must be part of a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care provider for a chronically ill person.

3. Many taxpayers don't realize that medical expenses for items such as hearing aids and batteries, artificial teeth, prescription drugs, oxygen and wheelchairs can be deducted, says Mark Steber, chief tax officer for Jackson Hewitt, a tax preparation service.

4. Do you work but pay a home health aide to take care of your spouse or dependent? You may be able to claim a credit of up to $1,050 on up to $3,000 in dependent (or spouse) care expenses. That credit is shaved directly off your bottom-line tax bill; it is not a deduction from your taxable income.

5. If you contributed after-tax income to your retirement account, a percentage of your annual distribution may be tax-free. The logic for this, says Steber, is that if you already paid taxes on money before you put it into the account, it shouldn't be taxed again when it comes out. But tax rules are never simple. You will have to pay taxes on any earnings that those after-tax contributions generated while in the account. On a related note, you can deduct legal fees for retirement tax planning.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

WHAT IS TAX-AIDE: This short video from the monthly TV program AARP Live explains the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program briefly. Find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide location near you.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

AARP Financial Services

Info on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.