Tax Relief Information for People with Disabilities


State Programs 

Virginia has a Livable Home Tax Credit (LHTC) program designed to improve accessibility and universal visitability in Virginia’s residential units by providing state tax credits for the purchase of new units or retrofitting of existing housing units. Tax credits are available for up to $5,000 for the purchase/construction of a new accessible residence and up to 50% for the cost of retrofitting existing units, not to exceed $5,000.

To qualify for the purchase tax credit, the new unit must include the three features of universal visitability, or at least three accessibility features and meet the requirements of an existing accessibility standard. To qualify for the retrofitting tax credit, the unit must include at least one accessibility feature, lifts or elevators, and meet the requirement of an existing accessibility standard.

The three features of universal visitability are:

  1. At least one zero step entrance into the residence;
  2. An accessible bathroom on the same floor as the zero step entrance; and doors with at least 32 inches of clear width and hallways of at least 36 inches of clear width to the accessible bathroom and eating area.
  3. Other accessible features include: accessible light switches, electrical outlets and environmental controls; accessible kitchen facilities; lifts; elevators; sensory modifications.

Existing accessibility standards are those of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code; the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standard (Fair Housing Guidelines).
 

Federal Programs

Federal Tax Relief programs are available for certain taxpayers with disabilities and or parents of children with disabilities. For example, taxpayers who are legally blind may be entitled to a higher Standard Deduction; certain disability related payments, Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are excluded in the computation of Gross Income; and medical expenses to include the cost of medical equipment may be eligible as itemized deductions. Because the specific tax relief applicable in any tax year can change, it is advisable to explore tax regulations for each tax year.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publishes annually a host of publications. The most applicable IRS Publications for persons with a disability are:

 

Additionally, there may be tax preparation help for qualifying individuals from the IRS-sponsored Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) which provides free tax help for all persons with priority assistance to persons aged 60 and over. Trained volunteers from various non-profit organizations provide free tax counseling and basic income tax preparation for senior citizens. Also, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $50,000 or less and who need assistance in preparing their own tax return.


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