Beginning in February and continuing through April 15, AARP Foundation is providing 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 68 million taxpayers.
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 almost 5,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide. There’s no fee, and AARP membership is not required.
In Wyoming, there are 16 sites where volunteers serve low-to-moderate income taxpayers. Lyman resident Sara Narramore is the Regional Administration Advisor for the Tax-Aide Program in Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. She says last year over 2,835 Wyoming residents had their tax returns completed through the AARP Tax-Aide program, with 212 returns done in Evanston and Mountain View alone. Those statewide efforts helped Wyoming residents receive $2.3 million in refunds they had coming their way.
“I do this because I love to help others. This is one thing I am capable of doing that helps so many people in my community,” Narramore says. “These tax services can be very high-priced and this service can help seniors with those costs.”
Tax Aide's Qualifications
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 2018, 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 Tax-Aide received $1.3 billion in income tax refunds and more than $212 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). They also avoided tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.
“Taxes are something that people are afraid of getting wrong and once they find out we are trained by the IRS they are excited and they tell their friends and it builds and builds every year,” says Narramore
Narramore suggests calling your local senior center or Tax-Aide location to make an appointment to meet with a Tax-Aide volunteer and get an intake sheet, which should be filled out prior to the appointment. She also points out this service isn’t limited just to seniors, but everyone with some limitations.
Looking for Volunteers
Narramore said AARP is also looking for those interested in volunteering for the Tax-Aide program. Among the roles AARP is looking for are:
- Tax preparers who are willing to be trained by AARP;
- Client facilitators who help by organizing paperwork and workflow;
- Communications Coordinators to promote Tax-Aide in your community;
- Technology Coordinator, to manage computer equipment and ensure taxpayer data security;
- Administrative Volunteer, to track volunteer assignments, site activities and more.
- Bilingual speakers are also needed to assist other volunteers.
To find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site or more information, including which documents to bring to the tax site, visit aarp.org/taxaide or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669). AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.
Tax Aide Sites in Wyoming include:
Cheyenne Senior Center
2101 Thomas Ave, Cheyenne
Laramie Eppson Center for Seniors
1560 North Third Street, Laramie
Torrington Senior Friendship Center
216 East 19th Avenue, Torrington
Platte County Public Library
904 Ninth Street, Wheatland
Guernsey Senior Citizens Center
100 South Wyoming Ave, Guernsey
Buffalo Senior Center
671 West Fetterman Street, Buffalo
Riverton Senior Citizens, Inc.
303 E. Lincoln Ave., Riverton
Lander Senior Center
205 10th Street, Lander
Worland Senior Citizens Center
300 14th Street, Worland
Greybull Public Library
325 Greybull Ave., Greybull
The Hub on Smith
211 Smith Street, Sheridan
Evanston Uinta Senior Citizens Center
1229 Uinta Street, Evanston
Mountain View Uinta Senior Center
330 Second Street, Mountain View
Golden Hour Senior Center
550 Uinta Drive, Suite A, Green River
Young At Heart Senior Center
2400 Reagen Ave, Rock Springs
Kemmerer Friendship Center
105 JC Penny Drive, Kemmerer
Cody Senior Citizens
613, 16th Street, Cody
Powell Senior Citizens A-Go-Go
248 North Gilbert Street
Those attending Should Bring
The checklist below includes items you need to bring when you visit an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site for us to help you prepare your tax return(s)
- Previous year’s tax return(s).
- Social Security cards and/or ITIN notices/cards or other official documentation that show the taxpayer identification numbers for every individual on your return.
- Government-issued photo ID for each taxpayer.
- Checking or savings account information if you want to direct deposit any refund(s) or direct debit any amounts due.
- Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) (for each individual if applicable).
- W-2 for each employer.
- 1099-G form for unemployment compensation or state/local income tax refunds.
- SSA-1099 form showing the total Social
- Security benefits paid to you for the year, or RRB-1099, Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits form.
- 1099 forms (or other statements) reporting
- interest (1099-INT), dividends (1099-DIV) and/or proceeds from sales (1099-B), plus documentation showing the original purchase prices if you sold stocks or other assets.
- 1099-R form if you received a pension, annuity, or IRA distribution.
- 1099-MISC, 1099-K, or other 1099 forms. If you have a business, bring a summary list of all your income (cash and non-cash) and all business-related expenses.
- Information about any other income of any form including cash or other than cash.
- Records of any federal and/or state and/or local income tax paid (including quarterly estimated tax payments) if not shown on income documents.
- Most taxpayers have a choice of taking either a standard deduction or itemizing their deductions.
If you have a substantial amount of deductions, you may want to itemize. If so, bring the following information:
- 1098 form showing home mortgage interest.
- A summary list of medical/dental/vision expenses including doctor and hospital bills and medical insurance premiums, prescription medicines, assisted living services, long-term insurance and bills for medical related home improvements such as ramps and railings for people with disabilities.
- Summary of cash and noncash contributions to charity.
- Property tax bills paid during the year (frequently shown on mortgage statement)..
- 1095-A forms if you purchased insurance through the Marketplace (Exchange).
- 1095-B/1095-C forms (optional).
- Any exemption correspondence from the Marketplace (if applicable).
- Dependent care provider information – name, address, telephone number and employer ID or Social Security number and amount paid to provider.
- 1098-T form for education expenses plus statement of account from the educational institution showing tuition and fees actually paid and scholarships, grants, etc. received. Also bring a summary of any other education expenses.
- 1098-E form for student loan interest.