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Helping Iowans at Tax Time ... and it's Free!

February 15, 2007

For many Iowans, saving a few hundred dollars at tax time can be a huge blessing. And free tax preparation can do just that. Kay Vignovich is district coordinator for the AARP Iowa "Tax Aide" program, a free service provided by volunteers trained as tax preparers.

"Our service is geared towards the elderly, but we do accept each and every person, no matter what their income."

Vignovich also has a warning: This time of year, you might be tempted by the so-called "refund anticipation loans" offered by many businesses. In fact, they'll take a percentage of your refund in exchange for slightly quicker cash back. Patience, she says, is key.

"That's just more money spent, and you get a little bit less back."

Vignovich adds the 2006 tax year brings at least one tax change that some might overlook -- a refund of the federal long distance telephone tax. Of course, with a trained tax volunteer from AARP Iowa, you're not likely to miss that one! There are 80 locations throughout the state now offering "Tax Aide" assistance. To find the one nearest you, go to

Last year about 200 AARP volunteers helped more than 22,000 Iowans with their income tax returns.

Dick Layman/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - IA