St. Petersburg, Fla. — For 50 years, tens of thousands of AARP Foundation volunteers nationwide and nearly 3,000 from across Florida have made older taxpayers a great offer: They’ll help you prepare your annual federal income tax returns – and they’ll do it for free. Starting Feb. 1 through April 17, AARP Foundation will do it again.
AARP Foundation volunteers will provide free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service. Since its inception, the program has served more than 50 million taxpayers, including about 223,000 taxpayers in Florida in 2017. Taxpayers served by Tax-Aide volunteers received almost $49 million in earned income-tax credits in 2017.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide started in 1968 with just four volunteers working at one site. Today, nearly 35,000 volunteers serve low- to moderate-income taxpayers at 5,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide. About 4,250 volunteers in Florida worked at 286 sites in 2017. There’s no fee, and AARP membership is not required to be served.
“AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers volunteer many hours of their time working directly with taxpayers. Many of our volunteers have been doing this for years – and sometimes, decades” said AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson. “This is a great service, especially for older taxpayers of modest means.”
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they know about and understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code. In 2017, the program’s volunteers helped 2.5 million people navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions, and file their federal and state tax returns. Taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received $1.37 billion in income tax refunds and more than $222 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). They also avoided any tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.
To find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site or more information, including which documents to bring to the tax site, visit www.aarpfoundation.org/taxhelp or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669). AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.