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Beat Tax Filing Stress with Free Expert Help in NH

February 17, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. - It's time to stop stressing over the fast-approaching Internal Revenue Service (IRS) deadline, because free expert help is available for many tax filers in the Granite State. Jan Nedleka, state coordinator, AARP Foundation Tax Aide Program for AARP-NH, is one of hundreds of New Hampshire Tax Aide volunteers. Along with their coalition partners, he said, they prepared more than 14,000 tax returns in 2013, helping locals get millions of dollars back in FY12 tax refunds.

"We're doing pretty well. Last year we arranged for our clients to receive over $12.3 million in refunds. That's money that comes straight back into the state for our families and our seniors," Nedelka said.

The program is designed to help low- to middle-income taxpayers. Last year, the average New Hampshire filer who got free help with the AARP Tax Aide program had an adjusted gross income of just over $28,000.

Nedelka said there is no discounting the expertise provided, because even though volunteers prepare the tax filings for free, they are well trained and then certified by the IRS.

"Now, every tax return is, for all intents and purposes, done twice: It's prepared once by someone who is certified in tax exams by the IRS, and then it's reviewed by a second person with the same level of qualifications," he said.

Many Granite State families who file through the Tax Aide program qualify for the earned income tax credit, Nedelka said, and many seniors have deductions withheld from their pensions that they are entitled to get back. The main thing, he stressed, is for them to get started with a nearby volunteer.

"The good news is that there are around 300 volunteers across the state of New Hampshire who are happy to help them get their taxes done for free, and they are at almost 50 locations throughout the state," he said.

It's easy to get started. Thanks to Granite State United Way, taxpayers can just pick up the phone and dial 211. Nationwide, more than 30,000 Tax Aide volunteers help low- and middle-income Americans prepare their taxes.

Assistance in finding a local Tax Aide is available on the web at http://nhtaxhelp.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH