Fri08012014

Community

Senior Center offers free tax assistance

The Los Altos Senior Center offers free tax assistance Monday mornings through April 15.

The service focuses on clients with low to moderate incomes, with an emphasis on those 60 and older, but no one will be turned away because of age or city of residence.

The Tax Aide service, sponsored by the AARP Foundation, is the nation’s largest volunteer tax assistance program. Los Altos has hosted a Tax Aide site for more than 15 years.

Trained and certified volunteers meet with clients, review their paperwork and records, and prepare and electronically file both federal and California tax returns.

“The volunteer training and certification process is quite extensive, and each return is double-checked for accuracy, so clients can expect a high-quality experience,” says Jerry Lopatin, site coordinator for the Los Altos program. “For reasonably simple returns – wages, Social Security, interest, dividends, pensions – there is really no reason to go to a paid preparer.”

Appointments for tax services are required. Call in advance to inquire whether your tax return qualifies, as some returns may be too complex for the service.

Clients should bring last year’s tax returns, all 2012 tax information and their checkbooks to their appointments.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the Senior Center at 947-2797.

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