Free tax assistance available to low-, middle-income taxpayers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 20, 2008

According to Bruce Owens, AARP Tax-Aide supervisor, this is the fourth year that the AARP Tax-Aide service has been sponsored by Senior Resources of Freeborn County.

The Tax-Aide Service is a national partnership between the AARP Foundation and the IRS that gives free tax assistance services for low- and middle-income taxpayers. The service files Federal and State income tax returns in addition to the Minnesota property tax and rent credit returns. The service does not provide tax assistance for businesses, farms or people who do not reside in Minnesota. This year, nearly 90 percent of all returns will be electronically filed. This means a much faster refund to the taxpayer.

The Tax-Aide service is also available to file for the economic stimulus payment. According to the IRS, people who are not required to file a tax return will need to do so this year if they want to receive their economic stimulus payment. The law allows payments to select taxpayers who have no tax liability, such as low-income workers or those who receive Social Security benefits (no SSI), veterans&8217; disability or survivors&8217; benefits and certain Railroad Retirement benefits. You must have at least $3,000 of qualifying income for the 2007 tax year to be eligible for the payment.

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The Tax-Aide service is by appointment only and provides services on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The regular service will end on Saturday, April 12. However, a limited number of tax counselors will be available by appointment after this date to finish returns that could not be completed during the regular tax season. For more information on the AARP Tax-Aide service, call the Senior Resources&8217; office at 377-7433. The offices are located at the Skyline Plaza via an outside access on the Front Street side of the building. There is a blue canopy over the access door.

Senior Resources is a non-profit agency whose mission is to provide services to seniors that assist in their ability to be independent, active and a contributing member of their community.