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Volunteers Helping South Dakota Residents Prep Their Taxes - Free!

April 1, 2008

Sioux Falls, SD - With just two weeks remaining until the federal tax filing deadline, South Dakota American Association of Retired Persons Tax-Aide Volunteers are stepping up efforts to provide free federal tax return help for South Dakota residents.

Charlotte Jaeschke, an AARP Tax-Aide district coordinator from Sioux Falls, says preference is given to individuals with medium to low incomes and anyone 50 and older, but age isn't a barrier and AARP membership isn't required. Jaeschke is most concerned about those who don't normally file an income tax return. She says those individuals are entitled to a $300 rebate if they earned at least $3,000 in employment income, or if they qualified for some types of public benefits.

"In addition to employment income, the other types of income that count as earnings are Social Security and veterans disability. Those three will qualify you for the $300 payment. People have asked if SSI qualifies. It does not."

Jaeschke says that a Social Security number is required to receive the payment and that non-resident aliens do not qualify for the cash distribution. She says it's important to remember that the normal filing deadline for federal taxes is April 15, but that the stimulus package deadline will run until October 15.

"It doesn't mean that if you file on the 16th or 17th of October that you wouldn't qualify. But, the last check will be cut at the very end of the year, so you need some processing time between when you file and that last period of December."

Jaeschke says there are more than 15 Tax-Aide sites statewide helping seniors and others receive their checks, free of charge. For those wanting to go it alone, she says the 1040-A individual tax forms are simple to complete and are available at most libraries across the state.

More information about the AARP Tax-Aide program is available at www.aarp.org.

David Law/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - SD