Taxman

[For those of you who don’t know, the title is an homage to the Beatles 1966 song Taxman.]

Let me preface this with another disclaimer: I am not an accountant. I know next to nothing – that is zero, not a thing, nada – about taxes. I am writing this as a heads-up for people because, frankly, I had not given this a lot of thought and I bet some of you have not given it a lot of thought either.

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant and I know nothing about taxes. This is just a heads-up.

So, heads up! As my friend the accountant reminds me, it is tax season! That friend as well as the accountant who does our taxes both mentioned to me a little vein of silver in this gray cloud of visual impairment.

There are tax breaks for the visually impaired.

Click here for more information on the tax breaks for disabled taxpayers. This is an IRS document called Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities.

Before I get into what I have learned with limited research on the web, I would encourage you to get help from a professional or at least someone who hopes someday to be a professional. I googled ‘free tax preparation for the visually impaired’ and I found the IRS webpage Free Tax Return Preparation. With any luck you should be able to find free tax help in your area. Within five miles I can get free help from accounting students at the local college. Within 25 miles there are seven places I can get free help with my taxes.

I would encourage you to get help from a professional, or at least someone who hopes someday to be a professional. The IRS has a webpage where you should be able to find free tax preparation in your area.

Reminder: I know nothing. Check it out for yourself on the websites I am expecting Lin will link to this post. Go to a professional. What I THINK I discovered in my browsing this morning is that taxpayers who are ‘blind’ are able to claim a higher standard deduction. This can be without itemizing.

Here is a YouTube video where you can listen to Lex the Service Dog tell you about the IRS accessibility features.  He speaks while signing with ASL and you can turn on closed captions.

Click here for the IRS list of their accessible forms & publications such as forms & how-to videos.

Those of us who are working can itemize and claim expenses that are directly linked to materials and services that are needed to keep us working in light of our visual impairment. I am talking about ‘toys’ (see previous post) as well as things like a driver or transportation service.

Click here for the IRS 2015 Publication for Medical and Dental Expenses.  A quick search shows that you can deduct medical expenses for things such as guide dogs/other service animal (buying, training & maintaining) and Braille books & magazines. Also, check out the section Impairment-Related Work Expenses.  You may be able to deduct the cost of the ‘toys’ you use for work.

Those of us who are not visually impaired but have a visually impaired spouse or other dependent may also qualify for a tax break. For example, if your spouse is paying for someone to come in the afternoon and make your lunch because you are not able to do it yourself, that could be a deduction.  You’ll find it in the documents we’ve referred you to under Child or Dependent Care Credit.

If you have a visually impaired child or spouse, you may qualify for a tax break called Child or Dependent Care Credit.

The budgeting.thenest.com website mentions, of course, basic medical expenses as being deductible. The site also mentions things like the difference in cost between standard print magazines and those same magazines in Braille. It does not say anything about large print magazines and books but I suspect a case could be made for those.

In short, heads up! Check it out. Get free help if you are unable to navigate it all yourself. There are some tax bennies for being visually impaired.

Click here for an article Tax Filing Tips for the Visually Impaired.

Click for The American Foundation for the Blind’s tax tips.

Next: YESTERDAY

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2 thoughts on “Taxman”

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    1. I am sorry I didn’t see this when you submitted us. It ended up in the spam box for some reason. Thanks for the positive feedback. -Linda…

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