Tax time is approaching

Peggy McGee

There will be no major changes for taxes for Tax Year 2017 but if you really don’t enjoy tackling your own return, consider the AARP Tax preparation service provided at several locations in the local area. And you cannot beat the price—there is no charge. AARP volunteers have completed their required training and passed their IRS certification tests and are ready to help taxpayers get their returns filed. Because they receive no training on tax requirements for other states, they cannot prepare state returns other than for Arizona.

The program is designed primarily for those 55 and older and low to moderate income families but there is no formal upper income limit. However, volunteers have not been trained and certified to 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 2 and April 16 at the following locations/times:

La Posada’s Recreation Building, 501 La Posada Circle, Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Episcopal Church of St. Francis-In-The-Valley, 600 S. La Canada, Mondays from 1:00-6:00 p.m. and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and at the West Center on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Appointments can be made for the West Center by calling 520-300-6407. The other two sites operate on a walk-in basis only.

The sites tend to be busiest in March when people have received all their broker statements so consider bringing a book, phone, or iPad to keep you busy if there is a wait. All sites have Wi-Fi.

Please remember that if you have given to an organization that helps the working poor (e.g., the Food Bank, Salvation Army in AZ) or to a public school, you can claim the AZ tax credit up to specified limits even if you do not itemize. For contributions to schools and working poor charities, you may make a donation until April 17 and still take the credit on your 2017 AZ tax return.

Please be sure to bring:

*Picture ID for taxpayer and spouse, if applicable

*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. If you are on Medicare, you are completely covered.

*2016 tax return

*Voided check for direct deposit or debit. Deposit slips are not accepted.

*Both spouses (preferred) or power of attorney something in which you can look at by using services such as Lasting Power Of Attorney and others, if married filing jointly. Because Arizona is a community property state, the volunteers cannot prepare married couples filing separate returns.

This year Quail Creek residents Peggy McGee, Gail Garrison, Vic Linn, Al Miller, John Kozma, Rita Blakeslee, Lori Whitman, Diana Averill, Anne Benton and Craig Parsons will be providing tax preparation service to clients.