Cincinnati residents can get free help filing their state and federal taxes at about 20 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide sites Feb. 3 to April 15. Volunteer tax preparers are trained and IRS-certified. About 100 volunteers will staff the sites. Over 40 additional sites are available throughout Southwest Ohio.
Some sites can assist walk-in taxpayers, but most require appointments.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service, helped over 5,800 Hamilton County residents prepare returns in 2013, said Tax-Aide southwest state coordinator and volunteer Fred Colucci, 74, of Cincinnati.
In the larger Southwest Ohio region, more than 22,000 taxpayers utilized the free service.
Targeted to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, the Tax-Aide program gives special attention to those 60 and older. But no one is turned away unless the tax situation is too complex or beyond the tax preparers’ training. Tax-Aide counselors must pass an annual tax law exam and an ethics test before being certified by the IRS.
Visit aarp.org/findtaxhelp or call 888-227-7669 toll-free for a list of documents to bring, or to find a site.
“The success and integrity of our programs lie with our volunteers,” Colucci said.
In addition to tax preparers, Tax-Aide also relies on volunteers to greet people, schedule appointments and coordinate technology. To volunteer, visit aarp.org/taxaide and click on “Volunteer.” —Janice Brewster