Hi, I'm Patrick and I work for the IRS.
If you're like me, a member of the sandwich generation, you have parents who are getting older and children who are becoming young adults.
It's very common for many of us to help our parents and our children with their taxes, so here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
If your relatives have simple returns, consider using Free File, a free e-file service, which is available only through www.IRS.gov.
You can prepare and file their returns for free through easy-to-use software.
Remember, you can usually claim your children as dependents if they're younger than 24 and in school.
Or they can claim themselves on their own tax return, but never on both.
Also, if you're e-filing your child's tax return for the first time, just put zero when the software prompts for the previous year's income.
Finally, if you're preparing a tax return for a relative or even if you use a paid preparer, you and your family members should consider naming you as a third-party designee on the tax form.
That way, the IRS can contact you if there's a problem with your family member's tax return.
Otherwise, the IRS is prohibited by law from disclosing taxpayer information to anyone except the taxpayer.
A third-party designation can help if issues develop later.
These tips can make tax time less taxing if you're helping your parents and your kids as part of the Sandwich Generation.
Learn more on IRS.gov.