AARP Tax Preparation

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Senior citizens looking at tax paperwork
Senior citizens looking at tax paperwork (Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images)

AARP provides tax assistance and filing services to primarily help individuals over age 60 via its Tax-Aide program. This uses grants from the Internal Revenue Service; the IRS trains and certifies Tax-Aide volunteers. The program operates in every state and the District of Columbia and offers free help with federal income tax filing.

Tax-Aide Locations

AARP operates centers in libraries, public buildings, nonprofit organizations and similar venues centrally located in a town or county so it can assist the most individuals possible. Call your public library reference desk or contact AARP on the website to inquire about a location in your area.

Tax-Aide Services

You receive volunteer assistance with your tax return and common schedules like A and B. AARP uses software programs to avoid errors. You will also be able to file your return electronically if you choose to do so. You must have all the information necessary and your spouse must be present if you are filing jointly with e-file. All these services are free to you, including the electronic filing. This is federal income tax assistance only, and does not include filing your state income tax return.

What You Need

Bring proof of identification, along with your W-2 and 1099 forms, and last year’s tax return, if you can. You will need your Social Security number and date of birth, and dates of birth and Social Security numbers of all dependents and your spouse. You need interest figures from your bank and pension or Social Security benefit totals for last year. If you care for children or grandchildren, bring day care expense information and your day care provider’s tax identification number. You also need your bank routing number and bank account number for any refund you may receive.

Other Help

AARP provides help with federal tax questions on the AARP website. You ask the question and receive a personal answer in email in three to five days. The IRS also maintains a “Frequently Asked Questions” section and a searchable website to locate answers to questions you may have. The IRS offers a Free File option in conjunction with software companies to provide access to tax software for individuals who earned less than $58,000 the previous year. The program does the math and checks for errors. You can also obtain forms from the Free File Fillable Forms section of the IRS website. If you were with the military last year, you may use a military location for preparation of your tax return. You'll meet with volunteers specially trained on military income and circumstances, and you'll get faster return information from the IRS.

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