The AARP Tax-Aide program, in conjunction with the IRS and the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition, is again offering a free, volunteer run, tax preparation service for low to moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to those ages 60 and older. You do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service. There are 20 Tax-Aide sites around Dutchess County, in the following communities: Beacon, Dover Plains, Fishkill, Hopewell Junction, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Millerton, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeepsie, Staatsburg, Stanfordville and Wappingers Falls. All sites offer a free electronic filing service for both federal and New York State returns. The sites are staffed by Tax-Aide volunteers six days a week, including evenings and weekends. Assistance will be available for the hearing-impaired and for those who need a translator.
The CA$H Coalition reports 8,437 returns were prepared last year for low and middle income residents of Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties, including seniors. This year, childless working couples earning less than $21,370 and childless individuals making less than $15,570 are entitled to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For filers with children, the income that determines eligibility rises considerably. Specifics are available at www.irs.gov.
The IRS reports the EITC lifted 9.7 million people out of poverty in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Over half of those assisted by the EITC were children, according to the IRS.
Some appointments are still available, continuing through April 15th. Phone lines to accept appointments are already open. Dial 211 (or 1-800-899-1479) for site locations, hours or an appointment. Phone lines will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The best times to call are after 5:00 p.m., or on weekends. A call specialist will review eligibility, make an appointment, provide directions to the appropriate AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site, and provide a complete list of required documents needed for the appointment.
More information about the program, as well as 24-hour, year-round tax assistance, can be found at their website: www.aarp.org/taxaide. For more information about joining the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition as a volunteer, visit www.hv-cash.org; contact Linda Eddy at (845) 475-7500; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.