Seniors and Retirees

If you are a senior or retired taxpayer, certain Vermont tax rules may apply to you. Below is a listing of Vermont tax information that you should review to see if it applies to your personal situation. This is not a comprehensive list and is not meant to provide tax advice. As always, we recommend consulting with a qualified tax professional who can advise you on the appropriate filing status for you, what taxes may apply, and other tax topics. Free tax preparation assistance is available for eligible low-to middle-income and senior Vermonters.

Income Tax Withholding 
Renter Rebate
Tax Deductions, Exemptions, and Credits
Death of a Taxpayer
 

Income Tax Withholding

Withholding on Social Security and Other Federal Benefits

The Social Security Administration does not withhold federal and state tax from Social Security benefits. However, if part or all of your benefits are taxable in Vermont, you may want to withhold more state tax from other sources of income.

To do this, you must complete Form W-4VT, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and submit it to your employer. Learn more about calculating your Vermont Income Tax Withholding. Estimate the tax on your Social Security benefits and enter the additional amount you want withheld from your paycheck where it is requested on the form. An alternative is to pay estimated tax on your Social Security benefits each quarter using Form IN-114, Individual Income Estimated Tax Payment Voucher.


Withholding on Pensions, Annuities, Supplemental Payments and Deferred Compensation Payments

Employers must withhold Vermont income tax on payments to Vermont residents when federal withholding is required. Vermont withholding is also required where the recipient elects optional federal withholding and does not specifically state that the payment is exempt from Vermont withholding.

For periodic payments, the tax is computed using the Vermont wage charts or tables. For non-periodic payments, the Vermont withholding can be estimated at 30% of the federal withholding. In all cases, the taxpayer is responsible for ensuring that the correct amount is withheld to avoid underpayment of the Vermont tax liability.


Withholding Under a Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plan

When a person makes a payment that was previously deferred under a non-qualified deferred compensation plan, the correct withholding rate is 6% of the deferred payment. The withholding is based on both the deferred payment and any income that may be derived from the deferred compensation.

 

Renter Rebate

Filing Renter Rebate for Those in Assisted Living and Retirement Communities

The Renter Rebate Claim is for room charge only. Services such as heat, electricity, personal services, medical services, etc. are deducted from the total on Vermont Form LC-142, Landlord Certificate. Generally, the room charge is about 25% of the home’s total charges to the person. For a percentage greater than 25%, the nursing home or residential care home must provide a breakout of costs. Learn more about the Renter Rebate Claim.

Note about Medicaid recipients: Payments made by Medicaid on behalf of the claimant to the nursing home cannot be included on Form LC-142 as part of the rent paid by the claimant.

 

Tax Deductions, Exemptions, and Credits

Additional Vermont Standard Deduction for Seniors and/or the Blind

Taxpayers who are age 65 or older and/or blind may deduct an additional $1,000 when determining the Vermont Standard Deduction on Form IN-111, Vermont Income Tax Return. To be eligible, you must also have qualified and received the deduction at the federal level. The amount will be adjusted annually for inflation. For more details, read the instructions for Form IN-111.


Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans

Disabled veterans who own their homes and declare Vermont homesteads may be eligible for a property tax exemption. The exemption reduces the assessed value of your homestead, lowering your property taxes. You must apply through the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs by May 1 of each year.

Note: Surviving spouses of veterans who had previously qualified for this exemption may also be eligible if they don’t re-marry.


Vermont Tax Exemption for Social Security Benefits

Recipients of Social Security benefits may be exempt from Vermont tax on part or all of their benefits if they qualify. If you had Social Security benefits that were taxable in the current tax year as shown on your federal Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, then you may qualify for a Vermont exemption.

Eligibility depends on your filing status and adjusted gross income. To see if you qualify, use the worksheet in the instructions for Vermont Schedule IN-112, Vermont Tax Adjustments and Credits. If you qualify, complete and submit Schedule IN-112 with your IN-111, Vermont Income Tax Return.


Elderly or Permanently Disabled Tax Credit

This is a tax credit to assist seniors and persons who are disabled with little tax-exempt retirement or disability income. If you qualify for the federal Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled, then you may qualify for the Vermont credit, which is 24% of the federal amount.

 

Death of a Taxpayer

Filing Form IN-111 When a Taxpayer Has Died

When filing Form IN-111, Vermont Income Tax Return, include the name and information of the deceased taxpayer or deceased spouse/civil union on the form if the taxpayer died during the tax year for which you are filing. Check the box (to the right of the box requesting “Driver’s License Number & State”) to indicate that the taxpayer is deceased.

If you are an administrator or executor and want to claim an income tax refund on behalf of the deceased, you must do the following:

If you have questions, please call (802) 828-6820 for more information.


Filing Form IN-111 as a “Qualifying Widow(er)”

You may file Form IN-111, Vermont Income Tax Return, with the status of “Qualifying Widow(er) only if ALL of the following are true:

  1. You were eligible to file a joint return with your spouse in the year in which your spouse died (even if you did not file).
  2. Your spouse died within the two-year period immediately before the tax year for which you are filing.
  3. You have not remarried during the current tax year.
  4. You have at least one dependent child.

If you are a qualifying widow(er), then you are allowed to deduct the same Vermont Standard Deduction amount as “Married Filing Jointly” on your Form IN-111.


Filing a Homestead Declaration for a Deceased Person

A surviving spouse may file Form HS-122, Homestead Declaration, if the residence meets ALL of the following requirements:

  1. Held by the estate
  2. Was the homestead of the deceased person at the time of death
  3. Will not be leased for more than 182 days in the calendar year

Learn more about filing a Homestead Declaration.


Filing a Renter Rebate after the Renter Has Died

Vermont Form PR-141, Renter Rebate Claim, may not be filed on behalf of a deceased person. The right to file a claim is personal to the claimant and does not survive the claimant’s death. Learn more about the Renter Rebate Claim.


Vermont Estate and Fiduciary Information

When a person dies, the person’s estate has the responsibility to file and pay Vermont income tax for the months the person was living and receiving income. In addition, the estate may have a filing requirement for fiduciary and estate forms. Learn more about the responsibilities of the administrator/executor of the estate or fiduciary.

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LAWS, REGULATIONS AND GUIDANCE
IRS Information for Seniors & Retirees
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide—Free tax assistance for seniors
IRS VITA/TCE—Free tax assistance for seniors and lower income