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Overwhelmed by Tax Filing? Free Help Still Available in NH

More than 19,000 people received free tax-filing help from the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program in New Hampshire last year. (Chris Potter/Flickr)
More than 19,000 people received free tax-filing help from the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program in New Hampshire last year. (Chris Potter/Flickr)
March 5, 2018

CONCORD, N.H. — Granite Staters have just over 40 days before the state and federal tax-filing deadline, and free tax preparation services are available for those who cannot afford to pay a professional or don't want to go it alone.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program provides tax filing assistance at no cost to the taxpayer. New Hampshire volunteer coordinator for the program Vicki Laforet said they have about 285 volunteers who really know their stuff.

"Some have past experience, some are enrolled agents, some are CPAs, some have worked for the IRS,” Laforet said. “But every year we have to re-certify. We take the whole month of January and we go through this huge volume of reference materials and we re-test."

She said the service is available to anyone, not just AARP members or retirees. There are 46 Tax-Aide sites available around the state. Information about scheduling an appointment and what documents are needed is available at NHTaxHelp.org.

Laforet said volunteers will work with taxpayers to figure out all the available credits and deductions.

"Folks will come in with a handwritten tax return and expect us to match that, and frequently we find things they have missed,” she said. “The big one is earned income credit, a fairly large credit that's allowed to low-income folks."

She noted they cannot help file returns for those with rental income, or self-employed individuals with a loss, employees, inventory, or home office deductions.

In 2017, Tax-Aide volunteers in New Hampshire helped more than 19,000 people file their taxes. The program is marking its 50th anniversary this year.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - NH