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Tax returns done for free

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Service from AARP begins Tuesday at library in E’town

By Gina Clear

A free income tax return preparation service returns Tuesday to the Hardin County Public Library in Elizabethtown.

The service is sponsored by the AARP Foundation in partnership with the IRS and provides free tax return preparation by volunteers. The service is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Appointments are required, said Janice Landi, AARP tax service representative, and time slots are filling up.

“I don’t know if people are expecting big refunds this year or not, but we are booked up until Feb. 12,” she said last week. “The word is definitely out.”

The volunteers, all who are returning to the service this year, go through 20 to 30 hours of IRS training, said John Hanna, who has been working with the AARP service for almost 20 years. The preparers must pass a test developed by the IRS with at least 80 percent proficiency.

“We do have limitations,” Hanna said. “We can’t do businesses and farm returns.”

Hanna said with the training, he is confident the returns his volunteers process are correct.

“We feel we’re very accurate with what we are trained to do,” he said.

Individuals still are responsible for any errors that may be found by the IRS, he added.

The program is important to residents because it provides a service some may not be able to afford, Landi said.

“It provides a free service to those who may be on a limited income,” she said.

The service is available to anyone regardless of income and filers do not have to be members of AARP.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” if the staff is qualified to process the income tax return, Hanna said.

Filers are encouraged to bring photo identification, Social Security card, copies of federal and state tax returns from 2012, all wage and retired pay statements and other relevant documents showing income for 2013.

To schedule an appointment, call 270-862-5847 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.