AARP, IRS offer free help with tax filing

Feb 2nd, 2022 | By | Category: Personal Finance/Consumers

Tax season returns, and once again, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is here to assist taxpayers with form preparation. Tax-Aide sites will begin taking appointments for free tax preparation and e-filing services beginning in early February.

Another free filing service, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), is available through the IRS.

Tax-Aide will continue to offer the same options as last year for tax preparation. That includes:

  • Low-contact, which allows taxpayers to drop off their papers or have them scanned and return to review.
  • Fully virtual service.
  • Virtual coaching.

Much of what is available will depend on local COVID conditions. Tax-Aide sites have the discretion to run in a way that keeps everyone safe, complies with state and local laws, and takes into account the number of available volunteers. The sites are encouraged to offer more than one service model, and that information will be available at the Tax-Aide Site Locator website.

More information, including a comprehensive list of documents to bring to the tax site, is available at www.aarpfoundation.org/taxhelp or 1-888-227-7669.

Tax-Aide is capable of processing most personal tax returns with some limited exceptions and “is a free service for anyone who needs help completing their tax return and filing it electronically,” said Cindy Gossett, AARP Tax-Aide Washington coordinator. “Our dedicated and certified volunteers will provide the same high-quality service as in years past, just in a different way to accommodate COVID-19.”

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide operates the nation’s largest volunteer-run, free tax preparation service. Volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year to ensure they understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code.

In 2021, 1 million taxpayers using Tax-Aide received more than $689 million in income tax refunds. They also avoided any tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans. The service is offered in conjunction with the IRS, and AARP membership is not required.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is offered by the IRS to the public for free help filing federal tax returns.

The service, available at locations in Pierce County and elsewhere through April 18 (the filing deadline), is for low-income to moderate-income individuals, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited-English speakers.

The Pierce locations, where in most cases appointments are necessary, include Tacoma Goodwill Milgard’s Work Opportunity Center (253-370-0626), Tacoma Housing Authority in Salishan (253-370-0626), Tacoma Public Library’s Moore Branch (no appointment needed), True Blessings in Spanaway (253-370-0626), Point Defiance-Ruston Senior Center (253-756-0601), Puyallup Activity Center (253-841-5555), Puyallup Elks Lodge (253-693-8731), Puyallup Public Library (253-841-5454), Sumner Senior Center (253-693-8731), and Buckley Senior Center (253-693-8731).

Information is also available by phone at 2-1-1 and online at irs.gov/vita.

 

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