Free tax prep for Federal and AZ tax returns

Peggy McGee

Tax time is here again, that time of year that seems to add to the stress level for residents. Don’t like to do your own return and don’t want to pay a fee for what you consider a simple return? Then turn that tax prep chore over to one of the AARP volunteers. The price is right—free!

One does not have to be a member of AARP to take advantage of this no cost tax return preparation service. All tax preparers go through extensive training each year and must pass an IRS Certification test annually before they are authorized to prepare returns. Because they receive no training on tax requirements for other states, they generally cannot prepare state returns other than for Arizona. The program is designed primarily for those 55 and older and low to moderate income families; therefore, the volunteers cannot prepare returns for those with rental properties, businesses with inventories, trusts or extremely complicated returns.

Because it generally takes a minimum of one hour to prepare a return, no new returns are started within one hour of the scheduled closing time. This year’s tax returns will be prepared between February 3 and April 16. The deadline was extended because of a holiday in Washington D.C., home of the IRS. Locations/times are as follows:

La Posada’s Recreation Building, 501 La Posada Circle, Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sonora by Dell Webb Clubhouse, 600 W. Camino Rancheria, Rancho Sahuarita, Wednesdays, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Episcopal Church Of St. Francis-In-The-Valley, 600 S. La Canada, Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. As exceptions, this location will be open on Wednesdays, March 9 and 16 and closed Fridays, March 11 and 18.

East Social Center, 7 South Abrego Drive, Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. by appointment only. Call 300-6407 to schedule.

Sometimes there are long waiting periods so remember to bring something to read, puzzle books, knitting. Hint: Arrive around noon and your wait in all likelihood will be shorter.

Be sure to bring:

* Picture ID for taxpayer and spouse

* Social Security cards for each family member

* Proof of income to include all W-2 and 1099 forms

* Documentation for deductible expenses

* Form 1095-A if healthcare insurance was purchased through the national Marketplace or a state exchange

* Prior year’s tax return

* Voided check for direct deposit or debit

* Both spouses if married filing jointly