By Andrea Sears, Public News Service
For The Post Publications
HARRISBURG PA – April 15 is coming up fast. There are plenty of changes in federal tax laws this year, but free help to file income tax returns is available now. Although its focus is on people age 50 and older, AARP again this year – in western Montgomery County and beyond – is offering help to anyone who needs tax return assistance.
The AARP Foundation has provided free, in-person tax assistance and preparation since 1968. Last year, more than 1,500 volunteers helped 114,000 low- and moderate-income taxpayers at 290 sites across Pennsylvania.
They’re back: ready, willing, and capable, according to Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director of AARP Pennsylvania. “We’re very proud at AARP that our tax-aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure that they know about and understand the latest changes in the U.S. Tax Code,” he said.
“Today we have nearly 35,000 volunteers throughout the United States, at 5,000 locations around the country,” Johnston-Walsh added.
The foundation free tax assistance is offered until April 15, but only by appointment. Locally, appointments are provided at
- the TriCounty Active Adult Center, 288 Moser Rd., Pottstown;
- Phoenixville Senior Center, 153 Church St., Phoenixville;
- Encore Experiences At Harleysville, 312 Alumni Ave., Harleysville,
- and several other sites. Find a location here, or call 888-227-7669.
Getting help with personal tax returns really paid off during 2018, Johnston-Walsh points out. “People throughout the United States received $1.3 billion in income tax refunds last year,” he said, “and $213 million in earned income tax credits.” Filers using the foundation Tax-Aide program also avoided fees associated with commercial tax preparation services.
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