We are here to help you with your taxes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 10, 2011

I hope you are ready! The tax season is upon us, and volunteers are ready to assist taxpayers with low and middle income, with special attention to those 60 and older.

These services are free. We will prepare your return and electronically file it for you with the IRS.

This program was started in 1968 with only four volunteers and 100 clients. It has grown tremendously.

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Last year, thanks to the more than 35,300 dedicated AARP tax counselors nationwide, we serviced more than 2.6 million taxpayers at nearly 6,500 sites nationwide, within the scope of our training.

As one of those sites, Natchez e-filed for 244 people and assisted numerous others by providing answers to their questions. Our services are safe, confidential, accurate, fast and above all, free!

Tax-Aide volunteers are trained each year during January, using materials developed and provided by the IRS. The training prepares volunteers to handle the basic tax forms (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ), as well as the standard state tax forms for both Louisiana and Mississippi.

Should you seek our assistance, you should bring the following items, a copy of last year’s return, a Social Security card for yourself and all dependents, all documents defining your income (W-2’s, 1099’s — INT, DIV, MISC), Social Security benefits statements (SSA 1099) and all forms indicating federal income taxes paid.

If you plan to itemize deductions, you will need to bring supporting evidence for those deductions you plan to claim.

You will need to show evidence of any real estate taxes paid even though you do not normally itemize your deductions.

Also, you need to know or have evidence of having received the economic recovery payment. Maybe you bought a new car, bring evidence of that purchase.

The Tax-Aide site is again at the George W. Armstrong Library, 220 South Commerce St., in Natchez.

The site is open each Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until April 13.

Last year, we were short on counselors; however, this year we will have enough counselors available to assist you in a timely manner.

We are looking forward to your visit! Come, let us help you take the worry out of tax preparation.

Jacqulyn B. Williams is the local AARP Tax-Aide coordinator.