Free income tax preparation assistance is available locally through April 10 through the Tax-Aide/Tax Counseling for the Elderly program.
Tax-Aide/TCE is a service of AARP, the retired persons organization, in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service. The free program targets lower-income, elderly and handicapped taxpayers.
Volunteers have been trained by the IRS to prepare basic federal forms, as well as Pennsylvania tax returns. Counselors also can prepare applications for property tax and rent rebates and can alert taxpayers to special credits and deductions for which they may be eligible.
The free assistance is not limited to senior citizens; low-income taxpayers of all ages are invited to take advantage of the program.
Volunteers will not prepare complicated returns for those who own businesses or rental properties or who are self-employed.
Those seeking assistance should take these items to the sites: photo ID, Social Security card or 1099-SSA for the taxpayer, spouse and dependents; birth dates for dependents listed on the tax return; wage and earning statements including W-2 and 1099 forms and other relevant materials showing income for 2013; copies of 2012 federal and state returns; proof of bank routing and account numbers in the form of a voided personal check if a tax refund is to be direct deposited; and the total paid for day care and the day-care provider’s identification number.
Tenants who will be seeking Pennsylvania property tax or rent rebates must have with them their landlord-signed form.
People meeting any of these criteria should wait until March to seek assistance:
• Those wanting only property tax or rent rebates prepared – not tax returns.
• Taxpayers who have income reported on Schedule D, since many financial institutions have until the end of February to issue 1099 forms.
Electronic tax-return filing is available at all the Mercer County sites. Taxpayers who have used the service in the past should note that all of the sites require appointments, except Sharon City Building.
Tax-Aide/TCE volunteers will be available at these times and locations during the filing season:
• McGonigle Ambulance Service, East State Street at Boyd Drive, Hermitage – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. Call 724-699-0424 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. for appointments. Do not call the ambulance company.
• Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Mercer – 9 a.m. to noon Mondays by appointment only in the learning center behind the church. Call 937-620-4588.
• Knights of Columbus hall, 170 Clarksville Road, Greenville – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays by appointment only. Call 724-588-3677.
• Sharon City Building – 9 a.m. to noon Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Walk-ins welcome.
• Keystone Blind Association, 1230 Stambaugh Ave., Sharon – 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays by appointment only. Call 724-347-5501.
• Pine Grove Community Center, Barkeyville Road outside Grove City, near the Pine Township firehall – 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays by appointment only. Call 724-458-7179.
Transportation to the sites is available with advance notice from Mercer County Transit at 724-981-6222.