After spending a lifetime working and preparing for retirement, people over the age of 65 -- here in Massachusetts and elsewhere -- often end up living on fixed incomes and others continue to work well after this birthday. Even so, many of them must still pay taxes on the income they do receive. The IRS recognizes their need to retain as much of their income as possible, so for the 2019 tax year, people within this age bracket can use a new tax form.
The new 1040-SR comes from the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act, not the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. What it does is increase the standard deduction for single and married seniors. Older taxpayers should review their tax situations to determine whether this form will provide them greater benefit than another form.
One of the benefits of the new form is that it does not require both parties who file married joint to be age 65 or older. As long as one of them turns 65 by Dec. 31, 2019, the form is available. It also accounts for dependents since many older people continue to care for their adult children or their grandchildren regardless of their age. Even self-employed seniors can use this form.
Anytime changes occur in the tax law, it is a good idea for individuals to review their tax situations in order to determine how a particular change applies to them, if at all. Doing so often requires significant knowledge of the tax laws, which many Massachusetts residents lack. For this and other reasons, it would be beneficial to sit down with a tax attorney who keeps up the changes issued by the IRS in order to make the best possible choices when it comes to filing taxes.