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'Significant' tax savings for seniors: What you should know before filing your return

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Sat, Feb 4th 2017 07:00 am

NYS Tax Department & Office for the Aging highlight 'subtractions' for senior citizens and retirees filing state income tax returns

Editorial by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance reminds seniors and retirees that certain "subtraction modifications" may reduce their New York state adjusted gross income, while tax credits they may qualify for decrease the tax due or increase their refund amount.

The modifications relate to certain income included in a taxpayer's federal income tax return that may be subtracted when computing the New York adjusted gross income. The details are provided in the "NYS Tax Department's Publication 36, General Information for Senior Citizens and Retired Persons."

"We encourage all seniors to review this publication that's available on our website along with other useful filing information, to help ensure that they don't miss out on valuable deductions and credits," Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion said.

Greg Olsen, acting director of the New York State Office for the Aging, said, "Many older New Yorkers are on fixed incomes, and it's important that they're aware of this publication, which can reduce their tax liability and help stretch their resources. We're pleased to join the Tax Department in getting the word out about Publication 36."

Examples of the subtraction modifications include:

•The pension and annuity income exclusion: New Yorkers age 59-1/2 or older for the entire tax year may exclude up to $20,000 of qualified pension and annuity income from federal adjusted gross income when determining their New York adjusted gross income.

•Married taxpayers who both receive pension income are each entitled to a maximum pension and annuity income exclusion of $20,000, whether they file jointly or separately.

•Social Security benefits that are included in federal adjusted gross income are exempt from state and local income taxes and may be subtracted from federal adjusted gross income when computing New York adjusted gross income.

•Qualified pension benefits or distributions received by officers and employees of the United States, New York state, and local governments within New York state, are exempt from New York state, New York City, and Yonkers income taxes regardless of the taxpayer's age.

These are only a few of the many subtraction modifications listed in instructions for Form IT-225, New York State Modifications, available at www.tax.ny.gov (search: IT 225).

Be sure to follow the NYS Tax Department on Facebook and Twitter for daily news, information and filing tips throughout the tax season.

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