(WHTM) — Tax Day is quickly approaching, and older people may find the day to be particularly challenging.
There is help out there, you just have to know where to look for it.
“Tax time is always a stressful time for everybody and that’s no different for somebody in their retirement years.”
Seniors can face their own unique set of challenge during the tax season, especially when your tax situation changes when you hit retirement.
“When they were in their earning years, they have a traditional W2 form. Now that they’re not earning, they might have other income documents that they need to make sure that they secure and bring with them at the time of their tax preparation,” explained Lynnette Lee-Villanueva, who is part of the AARP Foundation.
Lee-Villanueva says that life changes can also impact taxes and the elderly.
“We find that people who have been recently widowed where their spouse or partner was the one who primarily handled this, this is a very stressful time for them. So, we are there to provide service,” stated Lee-Villanueva.
That service is Tax-Aide, a free program that is offered by AARP. Volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS and they help walk seniors through the tax preparation process.
Lee-Villanueva mentioned how the service has helped many people to prepare and file their taxes. “Our service has really been a lifeline to people, helping them prepare and file their taxes to meet their obligation to do that.”
The program, Tax-Aide, is primarily for people who are 50-and-older with low or moderate incomes.
Last year, the program helped to secure more than $1 billion in refunds for more than $1 million taxpayers.
Lee-Villanueva said that seniors can find these programs at their local libraries, senior centers, or other locations throughout the community where Tax-Aide is offered. Volunteers at these locations can help to prepare the returns and file taxes.
AARP Tax Aide centers are located all over the Midstate. You can find them in libraries, community centers, and township buildings. You can click here to find one near you.
“It’s very important to be able to stay in control of their finances and in their tax filing obligation…we don’t want anybody to fall behind and eventually receive any penalties or interest they might be subject to if they don’t file their return on time,” explained Lee-Villanueva.