Tax season is here; free help with filing

Feb 13th, 2019 | By | Category: Spotlight

Beginning Feb. 1 and continuing through April 15, AARP Foundation is providing free in-person tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program, a volunteer-run free tax preparation service.

Tax-Aide started in 1968 with four volunteers working at one site. Now, nearly 35,000 volunteers serve low to moderate-income taxpayers at 5,000 locations in libraries, shopping malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide, according to a spokesman. There’s no fee, and AARP membership isn’t required for the service.

A list of Tax-Aide sites and other information, including which documents to take to the sites, is available at aarpfoundation.org/taxhelp or 1-888-227-7669.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.

“Every year, the program helps tens of thousands of Washingtonians with free tax preparation,” said Terrie Jones, Tax-Aide state coordinator. “Whether you are a working or retired individual, our IRS tax-certified volunteers can help answer your questions and prepare your tax returns.”

Volunteers are trained and IRS-certified for the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code. In 2018, filers who used Tax-Aide received $1.3 billion in income tax refunds and more than $213 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. They also avoided tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.

Last year in Washington alone, nearly 1,200 volunteers helped more than 85,000 state residents. This year, the program is offered at approximately 150 sites.

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