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What are some special tax deductions for seniors?

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Quick Answer

Special tax deductions for seniors include a higher standard deduction, a reduction of the tax on Social Security benefits for lower incomes, and a tax credit for the elderly and disabled, reports the Internal Revenue Service. The elderly also benefit from deductions on medical, dental and other expenses, states Nolo.

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Full Answer

Seniors age 65 and older can get a higher standard deduction amount if they do not itemize deductions, according to the IRS. The higher deduction applies even if only one member of a couple filing jointly is at least 65. Additionally, Social Security benefits are only partially taxable. Those with low incomes who depend mainly on Social Security benefits for income may not have to pay any federal income taxes, and retirees with high earnings pay income taxes on no more than 85 percent of Social Security stipends, as of 2015, explains the Social Security Administration. Low-income individuals and couples age 65 and over may qualify for the tax credit for the elderly and disabled based upon their taxable and non-taxable income, states the IRS.

Once medical and dental expenses of those 65 and over pass 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income, as opposed to 10 percent for other taxpayers, the expenses are deductible, as of 2015, explains Nolo. Additionally, seniors can take deductions for expenses such as fees related to investments and ongoing retirement contributions.

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