Get taxes filed for free with AARP
Those who haven’t had time to get taxes filed still have a few weeks left to get the job done for free with the AARP Tax-Aide program.
The program, which is the nation’s largest free volunteer-run tax preparation service, is offered to taxpayers with low and middle incomes, with special attention to senior citizens. The service lasts from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and from 1 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday at the HART Theatre in Waynesville. The final day is April 10.
It's a popular service each year and people are urged to arrive early and expect some wait time, said AARP volunteers.
Volunteers are trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service for quick and accurate tax filing.
Some of them have been doing taxes with the organization for more than 20 years — back when everything was done with just a pen, paper and calculator. Now, the system is quicker and more efficient with the help of computers and software provided by the IRS.
The program works in three stages. First, tax filers must fill out the initial paperwork, then they see a tax preparer and finally, the documents are looked at by a reviewer who checks for any mistakes.
Ravina Towe was among many people having her taxes filed Wednesday. This is her first time using the program, and she said the experience was quick and easy.
In years past, Towe has gone out of town to get her taxes done.
"It got to the point where it was too hard to get someone to do it," she said.
But with the Tax-Aide program she found helpful, warm people who were willing to do the job accurately and best of all, for free, she said.
Tax payers should come prepared with income statements such as W-2s and 1099-R and the SSA-1099 from the Social Security Administration if receiving Social Security benefits; Social Security cards for the taxpayer, spouse and all dependents; documentation concerning deductions (if intending to itemize deductions); and a copy of the 2011 tax return.
Those who wish to use direct deposit for their tax return should also bring a voided check.
The next tax filing day is Tuesday, March 12. The HART Theatre is located at 250 Pigeon Street.
For questions and information, call 828-280-1278.