AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are providing tax return services at the Library. Book your appointment today!


Free tax services return to the Estes Valley Library this February
By Don Bryson, local volunteer for AARP Tax-Aide

AARP Tax-Aide volunteers will once again provide tax return service at the Estes Valley Library. Starting February 2 and continuing through April 14, volunteers will be in the second-floor Wasson Room on most days each week. 

Scheduling is easy: sign up online, call the Library at 970-586-8116, or stop by the downtown branch. Please make an appointment only when you know you will have received all necessary documents; an intake form (available at the Library) must be completed prior to your appointment.

Read on for this year’s FAQs:

Health & safety
Although pandemic conditions have improved, Tax-Aide will continue COVID-safe practices to ensure our volunteers and taxpayers remain healthy. AARP requires that all volunteers confirm they are symptom-free and have not been exposed to COVID in the ten days prior to an appointment. Masking is optional but encouraged.

Who is eligible?
Great news: membership in AARP is not required! There are no age or income limitations in order to be eligible for this service. Federal and Colorado returns with most forms of income (including self-employment), itemized deductions if advantageous, and nearly all adjustments and credits can be completed and electronically filed. 

The exceptions: per IRS/AARP agreements, Tax-Aide is not permitted to assist with residential rental income, property depreciation, self-employment net losses, solar energy credits, estate or trust returns, or out-of-state returns. We also cannot assist with a return if you own or transact virtual currency.

What’s new for 2022 tax law?
Although several pandemic-related tax benefits have expired, taxpayers will benefit from higher standard deductions as well as more generous tax brackets and Earned Income Credit allowances. Colorado has created new tax benefits regarding retirement earnings, enhanced earned income and child tax credits; a Senior Housing Tax Credit if not claiming the senior property tax exemption; and a tax credit for certain pre-kindergarten educators. 

What should you bring to the appointment?
Prior to your appointment, we’ll provide an intake packet with a list of information and/or documents that you should bring. Most importantly: Bring photo identification and social security (or ITIN) number verification for everyone on your tax return. Also bring your prior year’s tax return for reference. Want direct deposit refunds, or to direct debit any due taxes? Make sure you have your bank routing and account numbers; a bank check is best.

Note that for joint returns, both spouses must be present to sign electronic submission documents.

What is the process?
The IRS requires a two-step process: one counselor prepares your returns and another reviews it to ensure completeness and accuracy. The returns will be printed for your review and signatures to permit e-filing. The process can take from one to three hours depending on the complexity of your tax situation.

Why file, & why electronically?
There are many reasons to file your tax returns, one of which is that filing enables receipt of payments such as the Colorado sales tax rebate! This year that rebate is at least $153 for each full-year resident born before 2004. And filing electronically speeds up processing and receipt of your tax refunds, and assists with preventing identity theft. 

Don’t stress about staying current with changing tax laws; instead, use the free AARP Tax-Aide service! What an easy way to make sure you are filing accurate returns with the most advantageous outcome. The AARP Tax Aide program is made possible by a great team of volunteers, dedicated to serving our Estes Valley. Schedule your appointment, and we’ll see you at the Library!