AARP Offers Free Tax Prep to Older Adults and Taxpayers With Low to Moderate Incomes

An older gentleman sits in a wheelchair at his kitchen table, looking over bills.

An older gentleman sits in a wheelchair at his kitchen table, looking over bills.

Image source: Getty Images

You may want to begin organizing your tax documents soon. April will be here before you know it. But if you need assistance preparing your tax return, there is still time to get help.

One such resource available to eligible taxpayers is the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program. Volunteers assist taxpayers with their tax preparation and filing needs. Find out more about the program to see if you or someone you care about qualifies for this free resource.

Read more: we researched free tax software and put together a list of the best options here

Introducing the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

Since 1968, AARP has provided free tax help to more than 78 million taxpayers through AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Trained IRS-certified volunteers assist adults 50 and older and those with low to moderate incomes by helping them prepare and file their federal tax returns. You don’t need to have an AARP membership to receive tax assistance through this program.

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is available from Feb. 1 through April 15. Eligible taxpayers can get in-person or online support with their tax needs. There are participating Tax-Aide locations nationwide. AARP has a Tax-Aide site location tool that interested taxpayers can use to find their closest location. You can call a nearby site to schedule an appointment or learn more.

Keep in mind that volunteers can help with most, but not all, tax returns. Help may be unavailable to taxpayers with more unique tax situations like farm income and expenses, virtual currency investments or transactions, or more complex self-employment income situations.

Taxpayers with complex tax situations may want to explore online tax preparation software solutions if they need guidance. Check out our list of the best tax software to learn more.

Get in-person tax support

If there’s a Tax-Aide site near your home, you can get in-person tax help. AARP offers multiple ways for taxpayers to get in-person support. Some options require one visit to a Tax-Aide location, while others require multiple visits.

Need minimal guidance? Taxpayers also have the option to schedule an in-person visit for facilitated self-assistance to have support available while they prepare and file their tax returns.

Get online-only tax support

Taxpayers can also get online tax support through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. This solution requires no site visit. Taxpayers upload copies of their documents into the provided software, and volunteers prepare their returns remotely. If you choose this method, you can work with a volunteer online to finalize and file your return. A copy of your filed tax return will be sent to you.

Get access to online tax coaching

For taxpayers who need minimal assistance, online tax coaching is also available through this program. With this alternative tax preparation model, the taxpayer processes their own return. However, a volunteer can help if they feel stuck or have questions.

File your own taxes online for free

Another alternative is self-preparation. This solution is ideal for taxpayers who feel confident handling their own tax needs, but want to avoid paying the expensive tax-filing fees that many tax preparation companies charge. This free service can benefit your personal finances.

Don’t delay filing your tax return

There’s still time to prepare and file your return. But don’t wait too long. You want to ensure you have all the documents you need and allow plenty of time to file before the April 15 deadline.

Don’t ignore free tax-filing resources like AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Any money saved on avoidable fees like tax-filing expenses, can be a win for your bank account. Want to learn more before you start your taxes? Review our tax-filing guide to learn more about essential tax topics.

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