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AARP Volunteers Help Utah Taxpayers File Returns

With the income-tax filing deadline just a few weeks away, help is available for Utah residents through the AARP Foundationís Tax-Aide Program. (alfexe/iStockphoto)
With the income-tax filing deadline just a few weeks away, help is available for Utah residents through the AARP Foundationís Tax-Aide Program. (alfexe/iStockphoto)
March 29, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY - The federal income tax filing deadline is just three weeks away, and if you're getting nervous about filing your tax return, help is on the way.

The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide Program offers free assistance in preparing tax returns and it isn't just for seniors.

Laura Polacheck, communications director for AARP Utah, says it's easy to find Tax-Aide help.

"There's 37 sites around Utah, and you can find a site near you by going to AARP.org/taxaide. Just look for a location, and it'll give you a list of all the documents you need to bring with you."

Polacheck says the Tax-Aide program is aimed at low-to-moderate income people over age 60, but anyone can make an appointment.

She says last year, more than 120 Internal Revenue Service trained volunteers helped more than 7,000 Utahans file their returns. Tax-Aide offices are located in senior centers, libraries and other public places.

Polacheck also warns tax season is prime time for scam artists, who are looking to take your money.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network has some commonsense advice on how to avoid being scammed by callers who impersonate IRS agents and demand immediate payment, or send emails directing you to official-looking websites that ask for your personal information.

She says the IRS handles things differently.

"They'll never demand money up front," says Polacheck. "You always have an opportunity to question or appeal a decision made by the IRS if there's a problem with your return. And certainly, to make sure it is actually from the IRS, you want to call an official number from the correct site."

She says taxpayers should never give out information about refunds or filing status, confirm personal information, or verify PIN information without making sure they are actually dealing with the IRS.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - UT