MERCER COUNTY — Free income tax preparation assistance will be available locally Feb. 1 through April 12 through the Tax-Aide/Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. Taxpayers have until April 16 to file their returns, but the last day for the volunteer sites will be April 12.
All sites will be closed Presidents Day, Feb. 20.
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 simple 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.
The IRS says those seeking assistance should take these items to the sites: Social Security cards 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 2011; copies of 2010 federal and state returns; bank routing and account numbers if a 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 rent rebates must have with them their landlord-signed form.
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 except the Sharon City Building require appointments.
Tax-Aide/TCE volunteers will be available at these times and locations during the filing season:
• Butler County Community College at LindenPointe, Hermitage – 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays by appointment only. Call 724-699-0424.
• Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Mercer – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays by appointment only in the learning center behind the church. Call 814-786-9318.
• 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 2 p.m. Tuesdays by appointment only. Call 814-786-9318.
With advance notice, transportation to the sites is available from Mercer County Community Transit at 724-981-6222.