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Don’t Fret – Free "Tax-Aide" Available For Hoosiers

PHOTO: More than 500 volunteers in Indiana are trained and IRS-certified as "Tax Aide" volunteers, helping people of low to moderate incomes file their income taxes. Courtesy of AARP.
PHOTO: More than 500 volunteers in Indiana are trained and IRS-certified as "Tax Aide" volunteers, helping people of low to moderate incomes file their income taxes. Courtesy of AARP.
February 19, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - It's the time of year when many Americans feel overwhelmed by the thought of filing their taxes. If doing your own tax return makes you anxious, free help from an IRS-certified preparer is not far away.

Steve Vanderver, Indiana state coordinator for the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program, said hundreds of volunteers around the state will offer assistance until the filing deadline on April 15.

"You don't have to be a member of AARP to take advantage of the service," Vanderver pointed out.

Last year, more than 48,000 taxpayers were helped by Indiana's Tax-Aide program.

Vanderver said to bring your photo ID, Social Security number, and all your important tax documents, including a copy of your 2011 tax return.

"W-2s or 1099s for IRA distributions or pension distributions; interest income; dividend statements; brokerage statements, if they have a brokerage account," he specified further.

The mission of the program is to help ordinary, low-to-moderate-income taxpayers, with an emphasis on those over age 60. The coordinator cautioned that they can't do business returns or more complicated individual returns.

Vanderver said you'll need to check with the local preparer about making an appointment, because requirements vary.

"First come, first served: some take appointments. It depends on the location and the facility," he noted.

In 2012, 546 Indiana Tax-Aide volunteers helped secure refunds of nearly $22 million dollars for Hoosier taxpayers.

Find the nearest Tax-Aide volunteer by calling 888-227-7669 or online at AARP.org.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN