Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"AARP and Library Offer Tax Help Starting Wednesday" | Abilene Reporter-News

Article Contributed by Brian Bethel, Abilene Reporter-News on January 30, 2017

The Abilene Public Library and AARP volunteers are offering free tax help fro those who need it beginning Wednesday.

The main branch at 202 Cedar will feature free tax assistance every Wednesday and Thursday from 10AM to 3PM in the upstairs auditorium.  Volunteers will be available every Friday and Saturday at the Mockingbird Branch, 1326 Mockingbird, from 10AM to 3PM.

The assistance program lasts through April 13, with the aid offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Both library locations open at 9AM and people may register for that day's service beginning at that time.

Once volunteers have the maximum number of people they can handle in a day, any excess filers will be asked to return on another day.

"They do need to be here as soon as close as they can to 9AM when the library doors open," said Janis Test with the Abilene Public Library."...If you want to make sure you get in, the sooner (you arrive), the better."

The program helps people who might not otherwise get help with their taxes, Test said.

And the tax program is good for the library, as well, because it brings in people who might not normally use the library's services or who haven't been back in a while.

"While they're here, while they're waiting, they have a chance to experience the things we to offer," Test said.  "Maybe they want to sit down and read a magazine or the newspaper, or they'll bring a device and they can get on our Wi-Fi and download some things.  Or (they can) ask one of the staff members about something.  It gives us a chance to tell them a little bit about what we do have."

The AARP tax aid volunteers have been trained by the Internal Revenue Service and will file taxes electronically, unless the IRS requires a paper filing.

"They just held a three-day training session for both old and new volunteers to get up to date and any new changes in the tax codes and any new methods of electronic filing," Test said.

Test said demand tends to rise in two distinct cycles - the first rush in the first few weeks the service is offered, the second coming as the filing deadline approaches.

Volunteers may not be held responsible for any tax errors.

To aid the process, bring copies of last year's federal tax returns, all materials pertaining to this year's taxes, including W-2 forms, and social security cards for every family member included in the return.

The library has access to necessary tax forms.  Free copies of a few of the most widely-used forms and instruction booklets are available, and all forms are available to be downloaded and printed from the IRS website for 15 cents per page.

For more information, call 325-676-6025.

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