ARRP Article in the March 2012 Issue
Laraine Stewart, chief operating officer of Maricopa County's Area Agency on Aging, said it's particularly valuable to have Tax-Aide volunteers helping with the property tax credit.
"Seniors have lost their homes because they weren't able to pay their property taxes;'
Many unaware of tax credit
Like Swanagan, older Arizonans whose yearly incomes are below $3,751 for singles over 65 and $5,501 for couples, not counting Social Security income, may be missing out on the property tax credit program because they aren't aware of it, Perazelli said.
"It's not on the radar of many who retire here because it is a state refund and not widely publicized;" he said.
Tax-Aide is targeted at low- to moderate-income people 60 and older, although it is open to anyone. Volunteers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service after attending training sessions and passing three tests.
About 1,200 Arizona Tax-Aide tax coun¬selors, greeters and schedulers are working until the April 17 federal tax-filing deadline at about 80 sites in senior centers, libraries, shopping centers, colleges and churches, Perazelli said.
Documents to bring
Many of the Tax-Aide sites have walk-in service, but some sites take appointments to reduce waiting, said Fran Molleur, 69, of Gilbert, volunteer and communications spe¬cialist for the Arizona program.
Clients are asked to bring:
• Last year's tax return and a photo ID.
• Social Security cards or other official docu¬mentation for everyone on the return.
• All income information, including W-2 forms; unemployment compensation state¬ments; and 1099 forms for Social Security benefits, pensions, annuities, interest income and dividends.
• Receipts or canceled checks if itemizing deductions.
• A bank routing number and bank account number to enable refunds to be deposited directly into
a bank account.
Most tax returns take an hour to prepare, said Alberta Sigman, 71, of Mesa, a volunteer tax preparer for 15. years.
To find a Tax-Aide location or to find out about volunteering for the tax season, call toll-free 1-888-227-7669 or visit aztax-aide.org.
By Maureen West (Edited for this web article)
Mesa Red Mountain Library:
Tuesday -- Friday from February to April 13
Registation 12;15 -- 4:00 PM (or until the capacity is reached)
Tax Preparation begins at 1:00 PM.
Volunteers provide Free Tax Preparation.
or check this site: www.irs.gov