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AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide Program Enters Its 50th Year

Nationwide, taxpayers who used the AARP Foundation's free Tax-Aide service received more than $220 million in earned income tax credits last year. (Pictures of Money/Flickr)
Nationwide, taxpayers who used the AARP Foundation's free Tax-Aide service received more than $220 million in earned income tax credits last year. (Pictures of Money/Flickr)
January 30, 2018

BOISE, Idaho – The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is entering its 50th year of providing free tax aide to folks across the country.

Last year, more than 36,000 Idahoans got help on their state and federal taxes. Nationwide, volunteers helped 2.5 million Americans receive more than $1.3 billion in refunds.

Duane Brown, state coordinator of the Tax-Aide program for AARP Idaho, expects to see familiar faces returning for help this year.

"The typical reaction is just very thankful and it's lifted a burden from them that they won't have to fight for the next month or two in tax season and they're all very appreciative," he says. "And we actually have some of those folks that we help turn around and come back and decide to be a volunteer."

Brown says volunteers and the people they're helping develop relationships in the tax preparation process. The service is open to everyone, not just seniors, and aims especially to help low- and middle-income Idahoans.

Starting Feb. 1, Tax-Aide assistance will be available at locations across the state, including libraries, senior centers, churches, and more.

Brown says one piece of their tax returns people sometimes miss is the earned income tax credit.

"Some people may actually be eligible for an earned income credit who don't have a tax obligation or even a requirement to file, and they want to be sure to come in and make sure they don't miss out on a credit that they're eligible for, even though they didn't have a filing requirement," he explains.

In 2017, taxpayers who used AARP's services received more than $220 million back in earned income tax credits.

Brown has a pro tip for folks seeking help. To avoid the rush, schedule a meeting with a Tax-Aide volunteer in March. He says February and April are the busiest time of year.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID