Beginning in February and continuing through April 15, AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service. Since its inception, the program has served more than 68 million taxpayers.
Tax-Aide started in 1968 with just four volunteers working at one site. Today, nearly 35,000 volunteers serve low- to moderate-income taxpayers at almost 5,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide. There’s no fee, and AARP membership is not required.
In Wyoming, there are 16 sites where volunteers serve low-to-moderate income taxpayers. Lyman resident Sara Narramore is the Regional Administration Advisor for the Tax-Aide Program in Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. She says last year over 2,835 Wyoming residents had their tax returns completed through the AARP Tax-Aide program, with 212 returns done in Evanston and Mountain View alone. Those statewide efforts helped Wyoming residents receive $2.3 million in refunds they had coming their way.
“I do this because I love to help others. This is one thing I am capable of doing that helps so many people in my community,” Narramore says. “These tax services can be very high-priced and this service can help seniors with those costs.”
Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they know about and understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code. In 2018, the program’s volunteers helped 2.5 million people navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions, and file their federal and state tax returns. Taxpayers who used Tax-Aide received $1.3 billion in income tax refunds and more than $212 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). They also avoided tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.