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Free Tax Prep Offered

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February 12, 2011 by wcobserver

Staff Report

WEST FORK- Free tax preparation will be offered to seniors and low and middle income residents of south Washington County through April 12 at the West Fork Fire Station.

The program which is now in its third year in West Fork is part of the national AARP Tax-Aide Program.  This year four AARP Certified Tax Counselors will be available every Tuesday beginning Feb. 8 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.   No appointments are necessary.

“We’re happy to have Winslow or Greenland or people from anywhere,” said Marilyn McLaughlin, one of the Certified Tax Counselors that has volunteered with the AARP program for seven years.  “We like to stay busy while we’re down there.”

All of the tax counselors are volunteers, according to McLaughlin, but had to complete and pass an IRS certification course to become an AARP certified tax counselor.

“We can do most returns for people,” said McLaughlin, who listed the 1040 return with schedules A,B, D, 1040 ES, 2241, 1099, and schedules K-1 and EIC among the forms that could be prepared.

“We can’t do a return if a person has rental property or has business expenses over $10,000.”

McLaughlin said they also could not prepare farming returns.

McLaughlin said no appointment is necessary, but encourages people to bring all the necessary receipts, and supporting documentation to have their returns prepared including valid social security cards for all members in the household including dependents, wage and earning statements, unemployment compensation, 1099s, receipts for day care or medical expenses, a copy of last year’s federal and state returns as well as bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit of the return.

While assistance is scheduled to be available every Tuesday, McLaughlin said that if West Fork Schools are closed for inclement weather on a Tuesday, they would not be at the fire station that day.

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