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AARP Program Provides Free Tax Preparation Services

The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide Program is available at 21 sites in Arkansas to prepare tax returns for people who can't afford professional help. (bernardasv/IStockphoto)
The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide Program is available at 21 sites in Arkansas to prepare tax returns for people who can't afford professional help. (bernardasv/IStockphoto)
February 2, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The federal income tax filing deadline is April 18, and if you can't afford professional help with your tax return, free assistance is available.

The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide Program offers no-cost services in Arkansas preparing federal and state tax returns. Kim Labbate, a training coordinator with Tax-Aide in Little Rock, said you don't need to be an AARP member or even a senior to receive help.

"We're there. We are all trained by the IRS and certified by them so they know they're getting a job that's well done,” Labbate said. "It's anybody that needs help. We are available to anyone who stops by our site; we'll do their taxes."

Tax-Aide will be offered at 21 locations in Arkansas this year, she said, including senior centers, libraries and community centers. To find a Tax-Aide site in your area, go to AARP.org/FindTaxHelp or call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669).

Dates and times of operations will vary by site. Services will be available through the tax filing deadline.

According to Labbate, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 24,000 Arkansans file their tax returns in 2016, and helped claim more than $16 million in refunds and $3.6 million in Earned Income Tax Credits.

She said it's important that those seeking assistance bring all the necessary documents.

"We always need to see a photo ID, Social Security cards for everybody that's going to be on the return - dependents, spouse and taxpayer. We need to see last year's tax return and all the paperwork, W2s and 1099s,” she said.

While they can prepare most types of returns, Labbate said there are some tax forms, such as calculating home-office deductions or rental property income, that they do not handle. Tax-Aide officials recommend checking with them ahead of time to make sure they can prepare all the forms you need on your return.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AR