UPDATE: Due to coronavirus precautions, the AARP Tax Preparation Assistance Program has been suspended nationally. No appointments are being taken at this time.

Friday, March 20: The IRS tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.

Free Individual Tax Preparation Service Again at the Library – here are the essential FAQs to know:

Since 2005, the Estes Valley Library has hosted the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide services. The program is staffed by local volunteers who train in tax law and certify with the IRS. Appointments can be made to have both Federal and Colorado returns completed and efiled. The Library partners by dedicating space, scheduling appointments and providing information to those using the service. Appointments will begin February 4th, the final day will be April 13th.

What can Tax-Aide do for you?

The program’s foremost objective is to serve the elderly and low income; however, no one is turned away unless their return requires elements that fall outside the scope defined by the IRS or the AARP Foundation. Returns with most basic forms of income including self-employment are permitted. We are also able to do itemized deductions and most all credits.

This service is quite comprehensive for most people in our community; however, returns not allowed include residential rental income, any property depreciation, self-employment losses, estate or trust returns, and any out-of-state returns.

How can you access this service?

Visit the Library to make an appointment, or call the Library at 970-586-8116, extension 3 You will receive an intake packet to complete beforehand. On appointment day, you’ll also need to bring your photo IDs, all Social Security or ITIN cards (no Medicare cards), all tax forms you’ve received, and documentation to support deductions. Even if you don’t normally itemize deductions, bring evidence of contributions if they exceed $500 because of a Colorado tax benefit. An organized compilation and totaling of such expenses beforehand will facilitate the preparation of your return.

What’s new for 2019 tax filing?

1) The 1040 form is similar to last year but a new larger print 1040SR has been initiated for seniors, and last year’s 6 new schedules have been reduced to 3.

2) The Standard Deductions have been increased by $200 per person for individual or joint filers, and $350 for Head of Household, so fewer people will need to itemize deductions.

3) The graduated tax brackets have gone up a little, resulting in a possible lower rate for similar income as last year if you are at the edge of the bracket.

4) While the Affordable Care Act is still in effect, the penalty for not having any healthcare insurance has been reduced to $0 for 2019. For those buying insurance through Connect for Health Colorado, you still need to reconcile your Premium Tax Credit on your tax return.For tax year 2018, 384 returns were completed. The Tax-Aide volunteers enjoy providing this service because it is so appreciated by our community. Give the Library a call if you qualify for this service, or are interested in joining our dedicated team of volunteers yourself.