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Reimagine Everything: AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

By February 19, 2021March 2nd, 2021No Comments

Ron Mori

Tax season is here, and I’m happy to report that the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program has adjusted to our new normal. The Tax-Aide program provides in-person and virtual tax preparation help to anyone, free of charge, with a special focus on taxpayers who are over 50 and have low to moderate income.

My mother is a big Tax-Aide fan, and she is so happy to know that adjustments have been made to keep clients and volunteers safe for this tax season.

(Photo: AARP)

Tax help is provided in safe environments based on a number of factors, including where you are located, Covid-19 spread and volunteer availability. Tax-Aide service started on Feb. 12, in keeping with the IRS announcement that it will start accepting returns on that date. If you need tax help, visit aarpfoundation.org/taxaide to request tax help or answer any questions you might have.

The U.S. tax code is complicated. As a result, many taxpayers overpay, turn to services they can’t afford or don’t file — missing out on credits and deductions that they’ve earned.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program has more than 36,000 volunteers that provide free tax preparation and filing services in nearly 5,000 communities.

Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year to make sure they know about and understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code. I am proud to say that this is the largest volunteer-based tax assistance and preparation program in the U.S.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Tax-Aide offers several options for taxpayer assistance. These options vary by location and are subject to change.

In-Person: In Tax-Aide’s traditional in-person service, taxes are prepared and filed by IRS-certified tax counselors — now with strict physical distancing measures in place.

Low-Contact: Taxpayers interact with IRS-certified volunteers in one or two short, in-person meetings to exchange documents.

Contact-Free: Taxpayers interact with Tax-Aide counselors online or by phone and exchange documents electronically.

Self-Preparation: Tax-Aide provides taxpayers with free access to software so they can prepare their own taxes. Taxpayers can also request help from a Tax-Aide counselor to coach them through the process via computer screen-sharing.

The information below includes items you might need for Tax-Aide service to help you prepare your tax returns. This is a general list; there might be additional materials you’ll need based on the type of service needed.

  • 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).
  • In 2020, 1.5 million taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received more than $1 billion in income tax refunds. Now that is a lot of money and refunds.

If you have any questions about the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, please contact us at taxaide@aarp.org or call (888) 227-7669.

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