No local Tax-Aide program provided this year

Published 9:35 am Monday, February 6, 2017

A program hosted by Senior Resources will not be available this year in Albert Lea.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, which served more than 800 people and prepared more than 2,100 free federal state tax returns last year, was discontinued.

Senior Resources has provided the space, personnel and promotion for the event for the last 15 years.

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The program was discontinued after two of the site’s four tax preparers decided not to participate this year.

“AARP and the IRS determined that our site was not viable,” said Senior Resources Executive Director Annette Petersen.

“It’s a tremendous loss to our community. A service that is so needed to low- to medium-income seniors and other ages, too, but particularly seniors.”

Austin and Wells Tax-Aide sites are full, and Owatonna will not accept non-Steele County residents until March 1, Petersen said. The Owatonna site is at 500 Dunnell Drive.

“People need to be making their appointments now,” Petersen said.

She said she hopes Senior Resources can offer the program next year.

“I’m hoping volunteers that are capable of doing tax returns see this as a needed service and will step up,” she said.

More forms, rules and regulations from the IRS are making it more difficult to serve people, she said.

Volunteers must undergo six days of training and be available two to three times a week from Feb. 1 to April 15, Petersen said. Interested applicants can contact Senior Resources at 507-377-7433.

Clients cannot make more than $54,000 a year.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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