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My mom needs to be in assisited living, but is currently living in independent living that she barely affords. Her taxes are outragous and she has no extra money to pay IRS.

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IRS is a government super creditor. They can garnish up to 15% of her SS. I don’t know if they could garnish from both SS and pension.

She may need to change her arrangement to a board and care or some other lower cost living arrangement.
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My Mom had a major stroke years ago after she retired. Could not get disability but could not work due to stroke. dad passed and now she gets his teachers retirement (they do not take taxes out). They lost most of their savings, home etc. basically they lived in an RV last few years of his life. Mom cant live in RV alone, moved her to IL, but she really needs AL. Her monthly income is 2945.49 her rent is 2475.00 per month, leaving no extra for income tax. I plan to talk with our CPA again, but have been told she owes from Dads TRS. We live in Texas, Austin area, and cost of living is crazy here. Im hoping to get some help for her through Medicaid and hoping tax relief of some sort. I appreciate all your help and hope to get with IRS on this matter, maybe they can help her out??
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Her income is over the limit for Medicaid.
what is her other source of income? Because your numbers aren’t adding up. If her monthly income is just under $3000 then she’s receiving more than just your dads $18,000 a year pension. Her annual income is around $36k so she appears to be receiving another $18k in social security. She likely owes income taxes because of her total income if dads pension was funded with pre-tax money. Just curious why is she in independent living if the cost is 90% of her income? Wouldn’t it have been cheaper to rent an apartment?
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Don't pay her taxes. They are not your responsibility. What is the IRS going to do? Garnish her wages? She has no wages.

As of 2018, a senior can have an income of $13,600 NOT COUNTING Social Security before they have to pay income tax. I am sure that amount is higher now. Is her pension income more than that? It would have to be significantly more for her to owe $1400 in income tax. And if her income is that high, how is she having a hard time paying rent? If she's in a high cost of living area, perhaps she needs to move to someplace less expensive. There must be someplace in Illinois with affordable housing.
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Her mother lives in independent living. Do you have any idea how expensive IL is? That’s why her mom is struggling financially.

My late MIL’s social security was roughly $19,000 a year. Her pension was roughly $27,000. Her monthly income was roughly $3900. That was for 2017. She owed taxes every year. $2300 is what she owed in federal taxes for 2017. Just for context. We obviously don’t know what OPs mother brings in but safe to say most of it goes toward her monthly rent at the AL.
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This doesn’t add up. If her taxes are that high, she should have adequate income to pay taxes. Get a CPA todo her taxes or an elder care attorney who specializes in elder financial planning and taxes.
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actually it makes a lot of sense because she’s in IL which she can barely afford. Her cost of living is high. So clearly she doesn’t have adequate income to pay her taxes and the high cost of living. OPs mom has no assets or anything. People who live beyond their means generally don’t have a few thousand in the bank to pay their taxes
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Most pensions are taxable because taxes aren’t paid on that money until you start drawing your pension. Taxes aren’t paid on it while you are contributing to the pension.
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Do teachers have SS taken out? I can never remember.

If not, her pension is taxable? Which doesn't seem fair. As a township employee I paid into my government pension. I think police and teachers have the same pension. If Dad paid into his pension and paid taxes on that money then, she shouldn't have to now unless he had it deferred. I also think, when you make under a certain amount of money, you don't pay taxes on the whole amount. When my husband first retired I think the tax preparer said something about the first 15k was not taxable. At that time DH was getting 1500 in pension, 1500 in SS. I was getting 750 SS.
There is someone on this forum who knows more than I do.

Even if u set up payment plans, your Mom can't afford to pay her taxes. I think it may be a good to find a tax preparer with a CPA. May cost you, but I feel someone is not doing something right.
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I'm sorry dag, I don't have the answer. It seems her income is high enough where she owes income tax. If that's the case wouldn't her income be too high for Medicaid as well? I would suggest consulting with an elder attorney who also specializes in financial/tax preparation and Medicaid planning. There must be a way to structure her income the right way.
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Have you asked a tax preparer to double check to make sure she’s claiming everything she can? There are extra deductions for the elderly or if she’s been declared legally blind. Also I would suggest having the taxes withheld from the TRS and also shop around for medical insurance. I switched Mom to an advantage plan which was 0 premium a month, but you need to compare plans including drug coverage. I think that helping out with some med costs occasionally if she runs short of funds during the month would be easier than coming up with $1400 at once. Just a thought.
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She is renting an IL apartment - does she owe taxes on property she owns or sold? Is this back taxes and have penalties resulted?
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dag1031 Jan 2020
No it’s income tax. She has no assets or property, due to stroke they lost their home years ago.
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Please tell us what taxes she is paying? Do you mean she lives at home and she can't pay the property taxes? You only pay income tax to the IRS, I'm assuming she doesn't work if she needs assisted living, so how is the IRS sending a tax bill? Please try to explain more so we could help better.
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dag1031 Jan 2020
Yes she paid 1400.00 last year, well actually I had to pay them. She has no extra money. She has no assets at all. No home or property taxes it’s all income from my Dads death Teacher retirement funds. She can barely pay her rent and medical insurance with little left over for anything else. She is 83 and had a stroke years ago and barely gets around. Her income consists of SS and Dads TRS. I thought about having TRS deduct taxes monthly, but that wouldn’t leave her much at all.
I hope this explains our situation better. I can’t keep paying her taxes and mine, it’s too much for me😳
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She has no money for AL yet has mega IRS taxes to pay, this does not compute to me. What am I missing?
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dag1031 Jan 2020
Yes she paid 1400.00 last year, well actually I had to pay them. She has no extra money. She has no assets at all. No home or property taxes it’s all income from my Dads death Teacher retirement funds. She can barely pay her rent and medical insurance with little left over for anything else. She is 83 and had a stroke years ago and barely gets around. Her income consists of SS and Dads TRS. I thought about having TRS deduct taxes monthly, but that wouldn’t leave her much at all.
I hope this explains our situation better. I can’t keep paying her taxes and mine, it’s too much for me😳
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If she has assets, she could do a payment plan. If she has none, she could try an offer in compromise where you tell the IRS this is my situation and all I can afford to pay is $x (or nothing). I hate to sound morbid, but do you think she will live a long time? If she is quite old and you don't expect her to live a long time I would let it ride. The IRS typically will send you letters for a long time before they take action. If she's spry, I'd consider a different living arrangement. Get a good cpa to help you with an offer in compromise - if she has no assets and little to no income her odds are good at getting a good outcome. If she has assets or income, she will need to pay at least some of the taxes.
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By Independent living do you mean an apartment that includes meals and activities? If so, if she can't afford that, then how will she afford an AL. Most State Medicaids don't pay for ALs. In my state u have to private pay for 2 years at least before Medicaid will pick up the tab. There are some that have wavers but u will need to see if ur State is one of them.

IRS taxes. What is Moms yearly income? My Moms was about 20k most of it SS. SS is not taxable under a certain amount of income, I think its 30k. My Mom was a widow and IRS informed her that she no longer had to pay income tax. Same with my MIL. You may want to check this out with a good tax preparer, better one with a CPA.

If ur talking about property taxes, then as said, sell the property. You can let those taxes ride. Eventually a lean will be put on the property. If you sell, all taxes will need to be satisfied at time of closing from the proceeds.
Worst scenerio, taxes go unpaid and the house goes up for Sheriff sale.
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Lymie61 Jan 2020
Some states/towns have a property tax adjustment for elderly too. So if it is a house property tax it might be worth checking with the state and town about any programs.
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She can get on a payment plan w IRS ...there are a few that advertise to help taxpayers ...one I believe is called “Optimum Tax Relief” & you can google their contact information...hope this helps! Hugs 🤗
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Dag are you her durable (or financial) PoA? Does she have any cognitive issues? What does SHE say about owing so much money? If she really needs to be in a higher level of care but can't afford it, she needs to apply for Medicaid, unless she has assets that she should liquidate. If she has more income/assets than SS she should maybe consult with an elder law or tax attorney to figure out her next move, especially since you say she can't pay what is owed. Have you seen the tax notice and are privy to her income status to know if this is all true?
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dag1031 Jan 2020
My mom has nothing to her name, no home, assets or property. We have recently applied for Medicaid for her. She had stroke years ago and my dad was her sole caregiver until he passed 3 years ago. The taxes are from my dads teacher’s retirement fund that she receives monthly from his death. She had to pay 1400 last year that I ended up having to pay. I can’t get paying her taxes. So trying to find out if there is help for her taxes?
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What taxes does she owe?  If property taxes, sell the property.  If income, she may have to liquidate part of her portfolio.
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perhaps it’s time for mom to move somewhere more affordable?

You probably speak to whoever has been handling her taxes, hopefully it’s a CPA or tax professional. The IRS doesn’t mess around when it comes to taxes and they will garnish her income including her social security if she gets it. Does she have any assets that can be liquidated? Properties that can be sold? That way she can transition to AL and have the money to pay for it. AL will cost more than IL.0
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