Need help with your taxes? If you’re 50 and over, the advocacy group AARP wants to help.
About 3,000 AARP volunteers are fanning around Florida to open more than 300 Tax-Aide sites, including 80 volunteers manning about a dozen sites in Miami. Though the assistance is aimed at the 50-plus crowd, volunteers won’t necessarily turn others away. And you don’t have to be an AARP member to get help either, though AARP suggests taxpayers with high incomes and exceptionally complicated returns may wish to explore other options for tax advice.
“AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation services to anyone, with emphasis for seniors. We’re here to serve you,” Fred Bates, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide state coordinator, said in a statement. “We understand common tax issues facing all Floridians.”
The volunteers, many of whom have years of experience in the field, are certified annually by the IRS and are up to date on the latest changes in tax law.
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In 2016, Florida Tax Aide volunteers helped more than 220,000 taxpayers. On the national level, volunteers assisted 2.7 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 $1.41 billion in income tax refunds and more than $240 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs).
AARP also offers a free, secure online tax service to help get your tax questions asked. The service provides an extensive list of frequently asked questions and answers, plus a feature that allows you to submit a question online. A Tax-Aide volunteer will respond to your question in three to five business days. To learn more, go to: https://aarpfoundationtaxaideqa.zendesk.com/hc/en-us
Because dates and times vary for each site, AARP recommends taxpayers check each site’s listing on the locator to find when they’re open. Here is the link: www.aarp.org/findtaxhelp
Volunteers also suggest taxpayers check what documentation you need to complete your taxes. For more information on documents to bring in, phone 888-AARPNOW or visit www.aarp.org/findtaxhelp .
The service is open through April 18.