Reader Louise left a comment with a tax tip that I just had to look into. On my post yesterday about H&R’s tax prep software sale (federal tax software and filing is $14 through Sunday) Louise said:
AARP will do your taxes for FREE as long as it is not a complicated return. I have been doing this for several years now. Just go on their web site to find a location near you. and you do not have to belong to aarp to take advantage of this.
Was Louise telling the truth?
She was! The AARP site says “AARP Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service. It is available to taxpayers with low- and moderate-incomes and gives special attention to people age 60 and older.”
To get the free help go into one of the 6,500 centers around the country. Many are located in senior centers, libraries, and community centers. The service is for people who have simple 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ returns, including if you use Schedule A and B. If it’s more complicated than that, they can’t help. You can file your taxes electronically at most sites for free.
The sites open in Jan/Feb and stay open until April 15. Find an AARP Tax-Aide site near you. I plugged in my zip code and found 21 centers within 13 miles of me. If you’re not sure if you qualify because of your income, call a center near you. You can also ask a question about your federal returns and get an answer for free.