Understanding Legal Blindness and the Tax Code

If you are taking the standard deduction on your federal tax return, and you meet the definition of legal blindness in both eyes, the following information may be beneficial.

A letter must be obtained from your eye doctor certifying your legal blindness under either of the following two conditions:

1. An individual cannot see more than 20/200 in the better eye with glasses or contact lenses, or
2. An individual’s field of vision is no greater than 20 degrees in both eyes.

Taxpayers 65 and older or who are legally blind at the end of the year can receive an additional standard deduction amount. This amount will be added to the basic standard deduction already mandated by the federal government which is, for 2010, $1,100 if married and $1,400 if single. If an individual qualifies as both over age 65 and is legally blind, he or she will receive two (2) additional deduction.

For more information, contact the IRS or your tax preparer.

About Sarah

Public Relations and Fundraising Manager at the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington.
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4 Responses to Understanding Legal Blindness and the Tax Code

  1. Carole says:

    If you are legally blind, are over 90 and file an itemized return, can you still get a tax credit for being elderly/disabled?

  2. Leon says:

    A little clarification seems to be needed here. Any person who meets the definition of legal blindness in both eyes is entitled to an additional standard deduction, regardless of their age.

  3. Bredgette says:

    This amount will be added to the basic standard deduction already mandated by the federal.

  4. David says:

    Because, like it or not, law is designed to regulate human affairs that are themselves complex.

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