Bad news: Like it or not, tax season has come once again. Good news: Once again, AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation for taxpayers with low to moderate income, through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program! Now through Tuesday, April 15, trained volunteers are ready to help taxpayers with basic federal and state income tax returns.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, in its 45th year, is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service, giving special attention to those 60 and older. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides face-to-face assistance at nearly 240 sites across Massachusetts. Find a location near you.
“Last year, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 40,000 Massachusetts residents with tax returns and questions,” says Linda Fitzgerald, state president of AARP Massachusetts, which serves 800,000 members age 50 and older in the commonwealth. “The exceptional quality of service provided by more than 600 dedicated volunteers keeps the service growing and earns the program high marks in customer satisfaction.”
Tax-Aide Volunteers Trained in Federal and State Tax Rules
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are well-versed in federal and state tax rules, and focused on helping taxpayers identify all the tax credits and deductions for which they may qualify, including:
• “Circuit Breaker” tax credit, which is available for Massachusetts property owners and renters who are age 65 and older and meet certain criteria;
• Energy Efficiency Credits which may be available to qualifying Bay State residential property owners; and,
• Schedule HC, proof of health insurance coverage, which is required of all Massachusetts residents.
“Nobody is more grateful than a senior with low-income who just found us, was expecting to get no money back on his or her return, but gets a refund thanks to the ‘Circuit Breaker’ tax credit,” says Tom Ligon of Wayland, the volunteer state coordinator for AARP Tax-Aide. This year’s maximum “Circuit Breaker” credit is $1,030; however, an amended return may be filed for up to three years.
This year, more than 600 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers have been trained in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service and the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
What to Bring
If married, both spouses should be present during an income tax counseling session. Taxpayers must have available all information and documents that apply to their 2013 income taxes, including:
• Proof of identity (picture or other documentation).
• All income statements that apply to the taxpayers.
• Social Security number (Social Security card or Benefit Statement-Form SSA-1099) for taxpayer and all dependents.
• Copy of last year’s federal and state tax returns.
• Personal check if direct depositing tax refund, with bank checking account and routing numbers.
For more information, call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669) or go online to www.aarp.org/ma.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is administered by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated, 501(c)(3) nonpartisan, charitable organization established in 1961. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/taxaide.