Tax Benefits for the Elderly

Brief

Tax Benefits for the Elderly

April 1, 2000

Abstract

The elderly receive substantial income tax benefits in the form of an extra standard deduction and lenient taxation of Social Security benefits for recipients with modest incomes. States also provide significant tax benefits. Often all Social Security and pension income is tax free and many states also provide property tax relief. The tax concessions are often inequitable in that their size usually depends on how one receives income and not on how high the income is. It is not easy to concoct a rationale for these tax concessions other than the fact that the elderly are very influential politically and very popular with the rest of the population.

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