AARP Tax Aide helps taxpayers with returns
By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL
It’s tax season, and that means volunteers with AARP’s Tax Aide program are out e-filing personal tax returns for low- to moderate- income Cowetans — for free.
Volunteers are working at the Powell Library on Hospital Road in Newnan every Wednesday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and at Coweta’s Central Library on Literary Lane off Lower Fayetteville Road and Ebenezer Church Road every Thursday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
There is often a line outside before the Powell Library opens, said Tax Aide volunteer Jimmy Taylor. But by 12:30, there is no line. At least, not yet. And there are even fewer people at the Central Library.
There will be a special one-day-only Tax Aide event in Franklin on Tuesday. It will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Heard County Public Library, 564 Main Street, Franklin.
As of March 3, Tax Aide volunteers have filed more than 425 returns for Cowetans this year.
All ages are welcome, and you don’t have to be associated with AARP.
New this year, after returns are completed, they are reviewed by another volunteer before being e-filed.
Regina Ubadiniru just moved to Georgia and was getting her taxes done on Wednesday. It was her first time using Tax Aide in Georgia, but she has been using it for years in California.
“I think it is great for someone like me who is not able to pay the high fees” for commercial tax preparation, she said. “I think it’s a great program.”
“This is a wonderful service,” said Linda Burns, who was getting her tax return filed with Tax Aide for the first time Wednesday. “It saved me a lot of aggravation and money.”
She’ll definitely be back, she said. Burns had to wait about two hours, as she had a fairly complicated tax return, but said the wait was worth it.
“I think we’re doing a good service for the community,” said Willie Boyd, who has been volunteering with Tax Aide in Coweta for 14 years.
This is volunteer tax preparer Richard Emery’s first season. He saw an advertisement for volunteers and decided to go for it.
“I like working with numbers,” he said.
Emery still works part-time as a pilot, so the Wednesday schedule is perfect for him. Tax preparers took part in a one-week training session.
Many of the volunteers have been doing Tax Aide for many years, so even though the training is only one week, “you’ve got all these people backing you up,” said Taylor. “It’s not that we all have to know everything, but we can get help from one another.” They’ve also got plenty of publications on hand to review if they have a question.
To get your taxes done, be sure to bring a government-issued photo ID, Social Security cards for all dependents, and all your necessary forms such as W-2s and 1099s, as well as all your receipts if you are itemizing deductions. It’s also recommended that you bring a copy of last year’s tax return.
The Tax Aide sessions run through April 11.
For directions, call the Powell library at 770-253-3625, Central Library at 770-683-2052, or Heard Library at 706-675-6501.