Tax Assistance Available For Older Adults

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

January 23, 2006

As the April 17 federal and state income tax deadline approaches, the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging urges older adults to start planning now to complete their taxes.

“Tax assistance can offer peace of mind to seniors who have questions about completing their taxes,” said Sharon L. Gire, Director of the Office of Services to the Aging within the Michigan Department of Community Health. “Whether they have concerns about filing taxes due to the death of a spouse or need help with electronic filing, it’s important for seniors to know that assistance is available statewide.”

AARP's Tax-Aide Program uses volunteers to provide confidential free tax counseling and preparation services. Tax-Aide prepares basic tax returns and answers tax questions for all taxpayers of middle and low income with special attention for those 60 years old and older. Clients can receive help with completing and electronically filing basic returns. The AARP Tax-Aide Program runs Feb. 1 to April 15 and hours are by appointment only. To find out more information or to locate the Tax-Aide program in your area, contact AARP at 1-866-227-7442 or visit the program website at www.aarp.org/tax aide.

For help with tax returns over the telephone, seniors can contact the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors at 1-800-347-5297. Other programs may be available in your area. Please contact your local area agency on agency for more information.

When you go to any tax volunteer for help, having the following information ready will simplify the process:

· Current tax forms and booklet;

· Last year’s tax returns;

· W-2 and W-2p forms from each employer if you earned a salary;

· SSA-1099 form if you received social security benefits;

· All 1099 forms for dividends, interest or other payments;

· 1099-R forms for pension or annuity paid to you;

· Receipts and canceled checks if you are itemizing deductions;

· A copy of your property tax bill, if you are claiming a property tax credit.

Additional information, including a new content page for seniors and retirees, is available in the Tax Time Resources box on the Michigan Department of Treasury website at www.michigan.gov/treasury. Additional information about federal tax preparation and e-filing federal returns is available through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at www.irs.gov or 1-800-829-1040. For individual or business tax questions, please call 1-800-829-4933.