Hi, I’m Patti, and I work for the IRS.
This is the third 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.
In this final video, we’ll look at a particularly complex phrase for deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers: Permanently and totally disabled.
Taxpayers who qualify as “permanently and totally disabled” may be entitled to some tax credits and deductions. Some deaf and hard of hearing taxpayers assume they are permanently and totally disabled. However, qualifying for the tax credits can be difficult.
So, what is required to be considered permanently and totally disabled?
There are two qualifications. First, a physician must certify that the condition has lasted -- or is expected to last -- for 12 months or more. The second -- substantial gainful activity due to the condition is not possible.
Let’s look at this a little closer.
The first qualification is simple – if a taxpayer is deaf or hard of hearing and the condition will or has lasted 12 continuous months, all that’s needed is a doctor’s statement certifying that.
The second qualification is a little more difficult to meet. After all, just because someone’s deaf or hard of hearing does not mean they can’t work.
So, what does the IRS mean by “substantial gainful activity?”
Substantial gainful activity is productive and meaningful work done over a period of time for profit or pay. It can be full-time or part-time as determined by the employer, and must pay a competitive rate – at least minimum wage.
One final point.
Remember to interpret all questions from the deaf or hard of hearing taxpayer to the hearing tax preparer rather than answering such questions yourself, even if you understand the meaning of specific tax vocabulary.
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.