The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 13, 2013

Time remains to file tax returns

AARP volunteers are trained by IRS personnel

OTTUMWA — The federal tax deadline is just more than a month away — plenty of time to have your taxes prepared and filed.

Chris Denny, a longtime AARP member, said he enjoys doing the tax work that he and other volunteers have assisted with at their temporary location at Quincy Place Mall in Ottumwa.

This year, Denny and his colleagues have helped with several southern Iowans with their tax preparation.

Along with a number of Ottumwans, Denny said, “We have clients coming in from the outlying areas, such as Oskaloosa, Eldon and Davis County.”

The AARP members are trained by Internal Revenue Service personnel. He and other AARP volunteers are seeing some of the same customers who come in year after year during tax season, but new clients keep coming in, too. He emphasized AARP doesn’t require people to be a member before someone can get the tax help.

“We’re just volunteers here,” he said. “The normal schedule is about 25 clients each day.”

What’s new for this tax season?

“Not much. There’s no stimulus money for this year, for example,” Denny said. “Congress has been slow with the information, but that problem has been rectified.”

First-time filers often need coaching but most are prepared, according to Denny. If the AARP group receives complex returns, the volunteers can ask paid preparers.

“For example, they will send us the low-income clients,” Denny said.

He said he likes to think he’s giving them help and he likes to help with the process.

“There’s not much that’s more complex than a tax return,” he said. “The elderly, for example, don’t want to do a tax return. The younger filers have a stronger interest than their elders.”

AARP Tax Aide volunteers at Quincy Place Mall

AARP Tax Aide volunteers will answer questions and prepare income tax returns free of charge again this year in Ottumwa.

This service is for low- to moderate-income taxpayers of any age with special attention given to those age 60 and older. Electronic filing is recommended and available at no charge.

Taxpayers should bring last year’s completed return when coming for assistance.

Volunteers are available from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at the Quincy Place Mall now through April 11.

Appointments are required and can be made by calling 641-937-5749. AARP membership is not required.

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