Free income tax return preparation and electronic filing for both state and federal returns will be available again this year for Mountain Area residents of all ages, offered by the AARP Tax-Aide program. Tax returns are prepared by specially trained, certified and supervised volunteers.
Tax preparation services will be performed at the Sierra Senior Center in Oakhurst on Tuesdays between Feb. 12 and April 9. The returns are prepared on site, and then electronically filed.
Appointments can be made by calling the senior center at (559) 683-3811.
In an effort to reach out to families and working people, volunteers are also offering tax return preparation services on three Saturdays at the Oakhurst Library. Services will be offered between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 23, March 16 and April 13. These services are also offered on an appointment basis by calling Darlene Kelly, (559) 760-0404.
Taxpayers will also be provided service on a drop-in basis, without an appointment, as time is available.
An additional site in the main library in the City of Madera is also available. Services are provided there every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between Feb. 15 and April 12 by appointment. More information and appointments are available by calling Jeannie Turpenen, (559) 673-4115.
Darlene Kelly, Madera County Tax-Aide coordinator, says volunteers are experimenting with a new service this year -- do-it-yourself tax return preparation. A computer station will be set up at the Sierra Senior Center and the Oakhurst Library when Tax Aide services are being provided. Individuals who wish to prepare their own tax returns will be able to use the computer with a trained volunteer available to answer questions. Free efiling of the returns is included.
Taxpayers with incomes of $57,000 or less are eligible to use this do-it-yourself service.
AARP Tax-Aide is the nation's largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service available to taxpayers with low- and moderate income, with special attention to those age 60 and older. Over 33,000 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), now help over 2 million taxpayers file their federal, state and local tax returns each year at nearly 7,000 AARP Tax-Aide sites nationwide.