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Tax Preparation Resources and Tips for People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision

With tax preparation season in full swing, here are some pointers and resources available to help guide taxpayers:

IRS Resources for Taxpayers who are Blind and Visually Impaired
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made a commitment to making materials and information available to individuals with disabilities, including a number of offerings specifically geared to meet the needs of people who are blind and visually impaired. Following are a few:
– Tax-related content and forms are available in a range of formats for use with screen reading software, refreshable braille displays, voice recognition software, and other assistive technology. Many offerings can be obtained in alternative formats, including text only, braille ready files, browser-friendly HTML, accessible and large print PDFs.
– Individuals who need an alternative tax product can download it from the Accessible Forms and Publications on or call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
– The IRS has also established an Accessibility Helpline to respond to questions concerning products in braille, large print, audio, and other alternative formats and related services. Taxpayers requiring accessibility assistance can call 833-690-0598.
– For individuals with disabilities who cannot complete a tax return, the IRS sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).
– The IRS Free File program helps taxpayers who are eligible prepare and file federal tax returns at no cost, offering two ways to qualify: First, those with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) under $73,000 may receive guided tax preparation at an IRS partner site. For those whose MAGI is over $73,000, returns can still be prepared for free using the Free File Fillable Forms.
To find out more about IRS resources, visit their webpages on Accessible Forms and Publications; Information About the Alternative Media Center; and IRS tax resources for the blind and visually impaired. For additional details about IRS no cost tax preparation, visit the Benefit.Gov webpage on IRS Free File: How to Find Filing Assistance this Tax Season. For more information about MAGI, read the Investopedia Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI): Calculating and Using It.

Tax Pointers for People Who are Legally Blind

Anyone who is considered legally blind is eligible for certain tax deductions. To be considered legally blind, an individual either has a “field of vision at or below 20 degrees,” has vision of 20/200 or less, even with corrective glasses or contact lenses, or has no eyesight at all. Tax deductions covered include:
A bigger standard tax deduction: Blind filers can claim unique deductions on the 1040 tax-return form, allowing for a larger standard tax deduction from adjusted gross income.
Medical deductions: The amount spent “to prevent, diagnose or treat illness, as well as any costs related to blindness or visual impairment can be deducted.” As with all taxpayers, the total expenses must be more than 7.5 percent of the adjusted gross income before the deduction goes into effect. Among the eligible expenses are transportation to/from a doctor visit, prescriptions, and insurance premiums.
“Disability-associated items:” Braille printers, guide dog expenses, and home modifications are among the deductible expenses as well.
For more details and additional information about eligible deductions, visit the Intuit TurboTax webpage with Tax Tips for the Blind.