THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2024 Page 19 MASSACHUSETTS CHILD AND FAMILY TAX CREDIT Y ou are entitled to claim a tax credit on your 2023 Massachusetts individual income tax return if you are taking care of a dependent child, other dependent or spouse with a disability or another dependent who is age 65 or older. You can claim this tax credit if you are fi ling single, head of household or married fi ling joint on your tax return. Your dependent child must be under age 13 as of December 31, 2023. With respect to a dependent age 65 or older as of December 31, 2023, that would not include you or your spouse. The tax credit to claim on your Massachusetts return is $310 for each qualifying individual. There is no limit to the number of qualifi ed individuals that you can claim the tax credit for. For calendar year 2024, the tax credit will increase to $440 per qualifying individual. If you are a Massachusetts non-resident fi ling a non-resident Massachusetts income tax return, you cannot claim this tax credit. Part year residents can claim the credit and must calculate the tax credit he or she is qualifi ed for based upon the days living in Massachusetts. A dependent or spouse with a disability is an individual Best Cell Phones for Seniors Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some good cell phones for seniors? My 79-year-old mother needs to get a new mobile phone and has asked me to help her fi nd one that she would like. Searching Daughter Dear Searching, For older adults, choosing a who is physically or mentally incapable of caring for himself or herself and who principally lives with the taxpayer for more than half of the taxable year. This is also a refundable tax credit so even if you your total tax is zero and you had no withholdings from wages or pension income, for example, you would still be able to receive a refund based upon the tax credit as calculated on your Massachusetts income tax return. This is the first year that Massachusetts has provided for such a tax credit. It is a big help to taxpayers caring for children, parents or disabled individuals. This is in addition to the virtual doubling of the circuit breaker tax credit available to taxpayers age 65 or older. Joseph D. Cataldo is an Estate Planning/Elder Law Attorney, Certifi ed Public Accountant, Certifi ed Financial Planner, AICPA Personal Financial Specialist and holds a Master’s Degree in Taxation. Discount Services - Raccoons - Squirrel Removal 781-269-0914 Like us on Facebook advocate newspaper Facebook.com/Advocate.news.ma cell phone is not a one-size-fi tsall proposition. Some seniors love the latest high-tech smartphones with high-megapixel cameras, while others prioritize simple phones with basic functions. So, the best cell phone for your mom will depend on her comfort with technology, priorities and budget. Best Cell Phones To help identify the best cell phones for older adults, I consulted Wirecutter, a product testing and recommendation service from The New York Times who recently tested 18 cell phone models. Their testing focus was on three different areas, including best phones for older adults who are comfortable with technology and want to upgrade to a full-featured smartphone with robust accessibility settings; best cell phones for seniors who are not tech-inclined or who prefer a smartphone with fewer features, as well as those who are experiencing vision, hearing, or dexterity issues; and best cell phones for elderly seniors who need specifi c accessibility features due to physical or cognitive issues. Here are their top choices based on their tests. Apple iPhone 15 Plus: This is a great choice if your mom is comfortable with technology and willing to spend more for a toptier smartphone with a range of accessibility, health, and safety features. The 15 Plus has an easyto-read, large (6.7-inch) screen and the most robust health and safety features, including an off - grid SOS, a personal-safety check, and plenty of customizable accessibility options that help seniors with vision and hearing loss, as well as with speaking and/or dexterity problems. ($899, apple.com). Google Pixel 8: If your mom has been using an Android device and is more comfortable with this operating system, the Pixel 8 is a high-end, reasonably priced smartphone that tops their list for older adults. It too has a sharp, large (6.7-inch) screen with an excellent camara and many health, safety, and accessibility features that can help seniors with vision impairment, hearing loss, hand tremors and more. And it costs signifi cantly less than the new Samsung Galaxy and iPhone models. ($699, store.google.com). Lively Jitterbug Smart4: If your mom wants a simplified smartphone that’s very aff ordable, she might prefer this model. Like the Apple 15 Plus and Google Pixel 8, the Jitterbug Smart4 also has a 6.7-inch screen, but this phone comes with a listbased menu (no icons) that provides easy navigation. It also offers voice commands capabilities, and a number of health and safety services including a 24/7 emergency monitoring service. This phone would also work well for people with memory or vision issues. ($150, lively.com). RAZ Mobility Memory Cell Phone: This phone is specifi cally designed for seniors with memory issues or more-advanced cognitive decline. Its uncluttered, simple functionality allows users to stay in touch with family and friends while also reducing common problems such as unnecessary calls to emergency services, spam, and fraud. It also has a dedicated SOS link on the screen that can alert up to three contacts; has GPS tracking capabilities; provides caregiver controls and more. ($349, razmobility.com). Snapfon ez4G: This is a nonsmartphone if your mom doesn’t want or need all the functionality of a full-featured smartphone. This simple cell phone provides large buttons, big screen type and an SOS emergency button on the back of the phone that will alert up to fi ve preselected contacts by call and text. ($100, snapfon.com). Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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