Hi, I’m Patti, and I work for the IRS.
This is the first in the series of three short videos. They are designed to help you – an American Sign language (ASL) interpreter –clarify tax terms for deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers visiting our tax preparation sites.
Whether filling out a tax form such as a 1040, or using the Interactive Tax Assistant page at IRS.gov, deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers benefit from your clear and accurate interpretation of tax terminology used by hearing tax preparers.
So, let’s look at some of the most commonly used tax terms.
The first tax term is “claim,” as in, “can I claim someone on my income tax return?”
A good way to interpret the word “claim” in ASL is to sign “put-down-on-paper.”
When you put any information on your tax form, you are “claiming” that information. For instance, parents might “claim” their children. Doing so may help lower their taxes.
Taxpayers “claim” income, charitable contributions, and marital status, among other things.
Now, let’s take a look at “dependent.” It’s important taxpayers clearly understand this phrase to minimize their tax burden.
A dependent is a person financially cared for by the taxpayer. A child is a good example.
But it can also be a parent or an adult child, such as one going to college, or a qualifying relative.
For this reason, when signing “dependent” do not substitute the sign for “child.” Also, do not use the sign for “depend” as in “rely-on” or “it depends.”
Instead of signing “child” or “children,” try fingerspelling “dependent” Or dependents.
Be alert to indications if the deaf taxpayer doesn’t understand the fingerspelled word, and interpret any request for clarification so the hearing tax preparer can address it.
I hope you found this helpful. For more terms you may encounter when interpreting, check out the other two videos in this series.
To view the other tax topics videos in ASL, please visit youtube.com/irsvideosasl. And for more information, visit IRS.gov