Showing posts with label free tax preparers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free tax preparers. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Free Tax Preparation Help

Completing your tax returns can be complicated, especially as we get older and more easily frustrated.  However, there is no need for most of us to handle our returns by ourselves.  The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is available to help you file uncomplicated personal tax returns, at no cost to you.

How Do I Find a Tax-Aide Volunteer?

These IRS trained and certified volunteers are usually available by appointment at libraries, senior centers, community centers and similar public facilities in neighborhoods all over the United States.  They are available from approximately February 1 to April 15.  Anyone can ask to use the service, but they are particularly interested in helping people over the age of 60 who have low or moderate incomes.

You can use the contact information below to make an appointment and find the nearest location:

What Documents Should You Bring To Your Appointment?

Make sure you show up at your appointment with all the information the preparer will need to complete the return quickly and efficiently.  In particular, be sure to bring in this information:

Proof of health insurance coverage;
If you were insured through the Affordable Care Act, bring Form 1095-A;
Your tax returns from the preceding year;
A photo ID, such as your driver's license, for everyone on the return;
All your income statements (W2, 1099, interest, dividends, Social Security, etc.);
Brokerage statements that show your capital gains/losses and stock sales;
Receipts for prescriptions, as well as other medical and dental bills;
Receipts for health insurance premiums;
Property tax and mortgage interest statements;
Proof of charitable donations;
Documentation for any other itemized deductions;
A check or bank card that shows the routing and account numbers for direct deposit of your refund.

Most of the documentation you need, including the Form 1095-A, W2, 1099s, Social Security statement, brokerage statements, etc., will be mailed to you during the month of January. 

Don't let yourself become upset and frustrated by trying to do your taxes by yourself.  Let professionals help you for free.

If you are looking for additional helpful retirement information, use the tabs at the top of this article to find links to hundreds of other articles related to retirement planning.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Help with Your 2013 Income Tax Returns

It's the time of year, again, that most of us dread ... time to file your tax returns.  As the "Retired and Loving It" contributor for the Squidoo online magazine, my bonus blog post this week provides my readers with two links that may be useful in getting your 2013 taxes completed inexpensively and, possibly, for free.

The first link is from AARP - The American Association of Retired People.  This organization operates a foundation that provides FREE tax assistance to people with low to moderate incomes, especially those who are over the age of 60.  You do NOT have to be retired to benefit from this service.  They have 5000 different locations across the United States.  In order to find the one that is closest to you, you can use this link to the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Locator.

If you do not feel that you will qualify to use the AARP free tax service, you may still be able to save money by doing your taxes yourself.  In that case, you may want to read my article, "How to File Your Own Taxes and Save Money."

In this article, you will get an overview of the different types of software available, including a direct link to the tax software page on Amazon, as well as links to some of the specific tax software programs you can buy from Amazon.  The Squidoo article also includes a list of the documents that you may need to have on hand before you see a tax preparer or use the software you select.  This article will save you time and money by helping you get everything organized before you start.

I also wanted to mention that members of my family have used a variety of tax software products, including the software from both TurboTax and H&R Block.  In general, they thought the TurboTax software was easier to use.  On the other hand, H&R Block seems to have an excellent back-up system if you need to call them to get your questions answered.  Whichever company you choose to use, you can use the links in the Squidoo article to browse through the various choices and pick the one that sounds right for you.  There are choices available for your PC or Mac, including software you can either have delivered to your home or download immediately.

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Photo credit for 2005 tax form: