Community

Los Altos Senior Program provides free tax preparation

The Los Altos Senior Program has scheduled a free tax-return preparation service Monday mornings Feb. 3 through April 13.

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 since 1997.

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

“There is absolutely no charge for any of these services,” said Robert Ward, Los Altos program coordinator. “The program focuses on clients with moderate incomes, with a special emphasis on those age 50 and over, but every taxpayer is welcome regardless of age or income, and clients can live in any community in California.”

The volunteers are not certified to prepare returns involving rentals with depreciation or some other more complex returns. They handle simpler returns for sole proprietorships that don’t involve depreciation.

Tax-Aide also can file extensions with the IRS if a taxpayer does not have all needed tax documents before April 15. All taxes due must be paid by April 15, even if a completed tax return is filed later.

Clients should bring photo ID, Social Security card or statement, their 2018 tax return, all 2019 tax information and evidence of health-care coverage if available. Those who want a direct deposit for their refund should bring a checkbook (used only to verify bank routing number and account number – Tax-Aide does not handle tax payments).

This year Tax-Aide will be preparing tax returns at the Mountain View Community Center, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., because the previous site, Hillview Community Center, was demolished to make way for a new facility.

Appointments for tax services are required.

To make an appointment or to inquire if your tax return qualifies, call the Los Altos Senior Program at 947-2797.

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