Seniors can get help preparing their taxes in several ways.
AARP has Tax-Aide representatives at local libraries for the next few weeks. The program is for seniors with moderate to low incomes with tax questions and for tax-return preparation. No farm returns or rental properties.
Several local branches of the Mid-Continent Public Library have AARP representatives onsite. Call ahead to make an appointment. Locations and times:
• North Independence, 317 West U.S. 24, 252-0950 – starting at 9 a.m. weekdays (except Feb. 18) through April 12.
• Blue Springs South, 2220 S. Missouri 7, 229-3571 – starting at 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 11.
• Colbern Road, 1000 N.E. Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, 525-9924 – starting at 10 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays through April 12.
• Raytown, 6131 Raytown Road, 353-2052 – starting at 10 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays (except Feb. 18) through April 10.
Also, AARP has representatives at Vesper Hall, 400 N.W. Vesper St. in Blue Springs, through April 11. Call 228-0181 to make an appointment. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and 4:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
AARP says to bring these things:
• A copy of last year's return.
• Proof of all income: Social Security SSA-1099 (pink border in upper right), W2 wage statements (only Missouri and Kansas), 1099 documents from pensions, interest,
• Proof of expenses: If itemizing, total all drug charges, medical charges and miscellaneous charities; real estate taxes and personal property taxes; student loans and expenses; mortgage interest statements; statement from landlord showing federal ID number and total rent paid.
• Photo ID and Social Security card for all people on the tax return.
• A blank check for refund deposit.
• Proof of medical insurance in 2018.
AARP has more information at email@example.com and can be reached, toll free, at 1-866-389-5627.
A program in Independence on Wednesday also offers some help. “Taxes: E-Filing & Refund Help” is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Trails West branch of the Kansas City Public Library, 11401 E. 23rd St., Independence. Participants can learn how to e-file and get tips for getting the biggest refund possible from volunteers using United Way’s www.myfreetaxes.com.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
Two local VITA sites:
• The BlendWell Cafe (run by the Community Services League) at 10725 U.S. 24. Through April 4. Appointment required. Call 944-1396.
• New Hope Baptist Church, 18000 E. Lexington Road, Independence. English and Spanish. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 13. No appointment needed. Call 384-1386.