GovernmentLifestyleNews

AARP Foundation Offers Free Tax Prep to Tennesseans

By Antionette Kerr

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite the government shutdown that kept Internal Revenue Service workers off the job for weeks, the April 15 income tax filing deadline wasn’t affected, so gather up your documents and get ready for tax season.

The AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program offers free tax preparation at 60 locations across Tennessee beginning Feb. 1.

Pam Holcombe, Tennessee Tax-Aide program coordinator, says people don’t have to be AARP members to get the assistance.

And while the focus is on people over 50 with low to moderate incomes, Holcombe says the services are open to other individuals.

“We also serve pretty much anybody that comes in the door, as long as their return is on topics that we have been trained on with the IRS,” she states. “And we do it so that they don’t have to go out and pay a paid preparer to have their return done and e-filed.”

Holcombe adds the Tax-Aide service is for individuals, not businesses.

Locations will include neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers statewide.

The volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they understand the latest changes to the Tax Code.

Last year, Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 21,000 Tennesseans navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions, and file their returns – and in total, they received more than $20 million in income tax refunds. They also avoided any tax preparation fees and pitches for high interest tax credit or refund loans.

Holcombe says the government shutdown did not alter this year’s tax-filing deadlines.

“The IRS is scheduled to start accepting e-files on Jan. 28,” she points out. “Our sites typically open on Feb. 1, and what the IRS is telling us right now, they’re going to process refunds as usual, and that’s all we have to rely on at this point is what the IRS is telling us.”

To find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site or for more information, including which documents to bring to an appointment, look online at aarpfoundation.org/taxhelp or call 1-888-AARPNOW.

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