Free tax preparation service celebrates 50 years and 50 million served
WASHINGTON, DC, — Today February 13 through April 17, AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide , celebrating its 50th year, is the nation’s largest free tax assistance and preparation service. Since its inception, the program has served more than 50 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 5,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide. There’s no fee, and AARP membership is not required. Some locations offer assistance in additional languages.
“People may be confused about how to file their taxes. AARP offers free tax filing and some of the sites have tax counselors who speak Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog or other languages," said Rose Chu who has served as a volunteer tax counselor with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide for 10 years. “The knowledge that I've aided those who would have otherwise had a difficult time is why I continue to volunteer year after year.”
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteer Rose Chu has been providing free tax help for 10 years.
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 2017, 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 $1.37 billion in income tax refunds and more than $222 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). They also avoided tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.
“Tax-Aide has helped millions of low- and moderate-income taxpayers for 50 years,” said Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Asian American and Pacific Islander Audience Strategy. “If you need assistance figuring out the new tax rules or if you need help in another language, take advantage of free preparation and advice from AARP.”
To find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site or more information, including which documents to bring to the tax site, visit aarpfoundation.org/taxaide or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669). AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.