If you are elderly or low-income, the AARP Tax-Aide tax preparation service is for you. We don’t define what it means to be elderly or low-income and we don’t deny service to anyone. However, keep in mind that if you can afford to have your taxes prepared professionally, you may be taking away an opportunity from someone who cannot.
Who are we?
We are all volunteers and come from many backgrounds. Most of us are retired and find this a rewarding way to pay back after long and varied careers. Some of us are still working and provide this service on our off-hours during the week or week-ends.
We are trained in most aspects of personal income tax law and are certified by the IRS each year. There are some things we can’t do, so check the “Can we prepare your return?” page to make sure you don’t have something that requires a professional to give you the service you need.
Where are we?
We provide our services at libraries, churches, senior centers and recreation centers in many locations in Colorado during February, March and mid-April. Some locations require reservations and some work on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis and hours vary depending on location. You can find a location near you by visiting the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide locator web site.
How does it work?
You call and make an appointment. When you come in, someone will review your tax information and a tax counselor will prepare your return. Then, a second person will review the work done to assure that it is correct. We e-file your return and give you a printed copy, and you’re done!
Is it really free?
There is no charge for our services. We are all volunteers and our equipment is either our own or is provided by the IRS or by donations to the AARP Foundation. Our host locations allow us to use their facilities as a public service. You can, of course, support us with your donation and you can ear-mark it for the state of Colorado if you wish, but we cannot take donations at our sites.
Is my information secure?
We prepare your return with you present, your information is always in your possession, and we keep none of your information at the site. Our local computers must pass rigid security tests and your return is prepared over an encrypted connection to a remote location and we electronically file your return from that location.
Are there other choices?
Yes. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and TCE (Tax Counseling for the Elderly) are also IRS sponsored programs similar to AARP’s Tax-Aide program although slightly more limited. You can check out the Colorado VITA web site for locations and times.
You can also find several places to prepare your own taxes on-line if your return is relatively simple. The IRS provides a site, http://www.myfreetaxes.com, for that purpose if your income is under $66,000. (Sorry, we can’t make specific recommendations for other free or professional services but see the IRS web site “Choose a Tax Professional“).