Tax Deductions for Senior Citizens

Some tax breaks are especially helpful to seniors.
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Senior citizens get some nice tax breaks to help them with the costs of retirement. For example, Social Security benefits are only partially taxable and are tax-free for some recipients. There are a couple of deductions that are exclusively for people age 65 and older. The information here is current as of 2014, but tax laws change. Check with your tax adviser to see what sort of tax breaks are currently available to seniors.

Increased Standard Deduction

If you are age 65 and don't itemize deductions on your tax return, the standard deduction is increased. As of the 2013 tax year, the extra deduction was $1,500 for taxpayers filing as single or head of household. If you were married and filed a joint return or were a qualifying widow or widower, the standard deduction increased $1,200. If both spouses were 65, you got $2,400 added to the standard deduction.

Medical Expenses Deduction

All taxpayers can deduct qualified medical expenses in excess of 10 percent of their adjusted gross income. However, someone age 65 or older can deduct medical expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of AGI until January 1, 2017. After that, the threshold goes to 10 percent. You must file an itemized tax return to claim the deduction for medical expenses.