Free tax help to be offered in Kingston

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AARP Tax-Aide is offering free income-tax assistance and preparation from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Tuesday from Feb. 5-April 9 in Kingston Community Center at 201 Patton Ferry Road.

AARP Tax-Aide is one of the nation’s largest free  volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service available to taxpayers with low- and middle-income.

Special attention is given to those age 60 and older.

Tax-Aide volunteers are trained by the Internal Revenue Service. They can e-file Form 1040 tax forms and basic schedules for free. E-filing ensures a more accurate tax return and faster processing of tax refunds.

Taxpayers with complex tax returns are advised to seek paid tax assistance.

Effective this year, the IRS will no longer allow Tax-Aide to prepare the following forms and schedules:

• Schedule C (business profit/loss) if expenses/loss exceed $5,000

• Complicated Schedule D (capital gains/loss) without proper paperwork

• Schedule E (rental property) with expenses

• Schedule F (farm income)

• Amended returns farther back than three years

Those forms and schedules will no longer be prepared at the Kingston site.

AARP Tax-Aide started in 1968 when four volunteers helped older taxpayers complete their tax returns.

This was one of AARP’s early efforts to use volunteers to ensure that important services were available to older people.

Since 1980, the program has operated under a cooperative agreement with the IRS as part of its Tax Counseling for the Elderly program.

In addition to the usual W-2 forms for those employed and 1099-R forms for those now retired, taxpayers who wish to work with AARP Tax-Aide volunteers should bring the following documentation with them:

• A copy of last year’s federal income-tax return.

• Social security cards and photo identification for taxpayers and their dependents.

• Copies of all Forms 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-MISC and 1099-B that show other income received during the year.

• 2012 end-of-the-year Social Security statement, Form SSA-1099, which summarizes the payments received along with Medicare deductions for last year.

• A record of tuition and fees paid to attend college and receipts for course-related books, supplies and equipment.

• Documentation of energy efficient home improvements made in 2012. This includes insulation, doors, windows, heat pumps, and water heaters that show manufacturer certification.

• A blank check to verify bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit of refunds.

Tax-Aide volunteers prepare returns on a first-come, first-served basis. Taxpayers do not have to belong to AARP to take advantage of this free service.