Knowledge Base

13008: MI - Over Age 65, Blind or Deaf Special Exemption not Automatic


Why is The MI-1040 special exemption for blind or deaf taxpayers not automatically calculated by Drake when the claimant is over 65?

A taxpayer and/or spouse, even if over age 65, who is blind or deaf and not “totally and permanently disabled” (as defined under Social Security Guidelines 42 USC 416) can claim the special exemption on MI-1040, line 9b. Drake does not automatically calculate this exemption - it must be entered manually (for blind taxpayers not over age 65, the blind exemption carries automatically from Federal screen 1). 

Before 2013, neither the blind nor the deaf special exemption was available to taxpayers over age 65. This changed in 2013.

On the MI 1040. To claim the blind or the deaf exemption for a taxpayer over age 65 in Drake Software, mark field 9b on MI screen 1 – Individual Tax Return with the number of exemptions claimed. See the help for that entry for more information regarding dependents. A single exemption can be claimed for a qualifying taxpayer. A taxpayer qualifying for both the blind and the deaf exemption can claim only a single exemption.

On the MI-1040CR. The change also applies to the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit Claim MI-1040CR (MI screen CR on the Credits tab). To claim the credit, select the line 5b field. The taxpayer or spouse can claim only one exemption for any of these conditions.

Regarding boxes 5.a. and 5.b. -

MI-1040CR instructions provide this advice on page 31:

"Line 5: Check the box that applies to you or your spouse as of December 31, 2020, if any. If both boxes 5a and 5b apply, check both.

Line 5a: Age 65 or older. This includes the unremarried surviving spouse of a person who was 65 or older at the time of death. You are considered 65 the day before your 65th birthday.

Line 5b: Deaf, blind, hemiplegic, paraplegic, quadriplegic, or totally and permanently disabled.

  • Deaf means the primary way you receive messages is through a sense other than hearing (e.g., lip reading or sign language).
  • Blind means your better eye permanently has 20/200 vision or less with corrective lenses, or your peripheral field of vision is 20 degrees or less. 
  • Totally and permanently disabled means disabled as defined under Social Security Guidelines 42 USC 416. If you were age 66 or older by October 31, 2021, you may not file a claim as totally and permanently disabled."

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