Tax season is here and Fayette County residents have options to process their returns for free through two different programs.
Chiquita Nash, volunteer coordinator and free store director for The Well at Sunnyside in Washington C.H., said their tax experts started on Monday and have already started to fill the schedule with a multitude of appointments.
“We have a bunch of appointments being set up and we also have our clinic this Saturday with 13 counselors available,” Nash said. “They will have the opportunity to complete up to 140 tax returns during the clinic. The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and we encourage the community to give us a call to set up an appointment for the clinic, but we will help anyone who walks in on Saturday.”
Nash said the plan is to hold another tax clinic on March 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That will be the last time they hold one this year as tax season will wrap up around April 17, according to Nash.
“We will not hold more clinics after March 3, but we will be here Monday through Saturday to process returns for free,” Nash said. “Mondays and Tuesdays we are here from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays we will be processing returns from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays we will be open from 9 a.m. to noon as of right now. Depending on how those days go, we may be open until 4 p.m. for appointments.”
There are a few restrictions put in place by The Well. Married families must make $95,000 or less and single families are restricted to under $65,000. She said additionally, if someone owns a lot of houses or has farm depreciation, The Well cannot process that return. Last year, Nash said they were able to process 1,150 returns for over $1.3 million in refunds.
“We can do 1099R and itemized returns, but we have forms that need to be filled out before your appointment to make the process a lot more smooth,” Nash said. “We would also like them to have their packet from last year if they got their taxes processed through The Well. Those forms have a lot of information that will save us a lot of time. Please be on time and if you know you are unable to make it, just call and let us know. We can reschedule you and help to make sure your return gets processed. Unfortunately, we are just two days in and have had some folks schedule and not show up.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call The Well at Sunnyside at (740) 333-5088. Nash said the tax experts are on a volunteer basis and they would all appreciate a heads up if someone cannot make an appointment. The phone has been ringing off continually at The Well, so Nash said if someone does not answer a call, leave a message and someone will call back within two business days.
Another free program for low to moderate income individuals/families and the elderly residents of the community is the Carnegie Public Library’s AARP Tax Aide. These are AARP and IRS certified tax specialists who are part of the volunteer AARP Tax Aide program.
“This program has existed for as long as I have known about the library here,” Carnegie Public Library Director Sarah Nichols said. “I imagine AARP approached us years ago, but they do visit other libraries to hold these type of programs.”
The program is by appointment only and these appointments will be available every Wednesday through April 11 during normal business hours for the library. Currently, Nichols said they have filled up all times available up to Feb. 28, and she encouraged the community to call early to set up their appointment.
“Folks can call the library number, (740) 335-2540,” Nichols said. “The appointments are on Wednesday only and as long as we are open someone will be here filing returns. These appointments fill up fast. We do on average just over 200 returns.”
Nichols said as a local library, they already have tax forms available. Additionally, the community already uses the library to print W-2’s and other tax forms, and uses the computers to file. She said it only seemed like a natural fit to also have a program like this available.
“It seems like the perfect circle that we also have a free service that is here to help the community file their taxes,” Nichols said. “AARP specifies that they do tax returns for low to moderate income individuals and families and for elderly. Before the new year even starts, we get calls about the program asking when AARP will be coming and if appointments are already available. We have people who have been coming for 10 years or more. We are happy to have them in our meeting room and it is no trouble at all. We enjoy having them here and seeing people who we may not see typically throughout the year.”
Nichols encouraged the community to call as soon as possible as appointments fill up fast and they are hoping to file as many returns as possible before the program closes for the year.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy