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Still Need to Do Your Taxes? Free Assistance is Available

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the nation's largest free tax assistance and preparation service. (AARP Foundation Tax-Aide)
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the nation's largest free tax assistance and preparation service. (AARP Foundation Tax-Aide)
March 22, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. – AARP is offering free tax assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals through April 15th, including in New Hampshire.

While the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program pays special attention to older individuals, one doesn't need to be a senior citizen or AARP member to use the service. The volunteers are IRS-certified, and provide help at more than forty-five sites across the Granite State.

In New Hampshire, as in many states, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program partners with United Way. Cary Gladstone, Granite United Way’s senior director of asset-building strategies, helps coordinate its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

He says a surprising number of calls to the 211 line in New Hampshire are about taxes.

"The number one reason that people in New Hampshire were calling 211 was for tax help,” says Gladstone. “For the first two months of 2019, had one out of every two about taxes."

Gladstone adds that AARP tax volunteers act as backups to 211 when callers want assistance beyond scheduling.

He notes that in New Hampshire, about ten thousand children are raised by grandparents, largely because of the opioid crisis. If they're working, he says they can often claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Norma Boyce is a retired independent tax consultant and AARP volunteer. She shares a key challenge she sees the older population facing.

"The biggest issue that I find with the seniors is how they are all confused about the taxation of Social Security benefits and if they're taxable," says Boyce.

Boyce explains the biggest points people who receive Social Security benefits need to know.

"Take half of your Social Security benefits and you add your other income to it, and if that exceeds $25,000 for a single person or $32,000 for a married couple, then some of your Social Security benefits may be taxable," says Boyce.

In New Hampshire, you can visit nhtaxhelp.org or call the Granite United Way at 211 to find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site near you or to make an appointment.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - NH