Now that we’ve settled into the New Year, it’s time to turn our attention to another annual season. Nope – not another holiday celebrated with good food and gifts but tax season.
Yes, it’s time to start gathering all those receipts and statements, which hopefully have at least accumulated in a shoebox somewhere, and start those 1040 forms.
If this sounds like a daunting task and you’re already feeling overwhelmed but your return is relatively simple, AARP’s Tax Aide Program can help make doing your taxes a little easier with free tax preparation at a number of community locations throughout New Mexico.
“Many people try to save time or money by doing their own taxes but without being up-to-date on the changes in the tax law, individuals can miss out on a number of deductions and tax savings,” said Peter Doniger, AARP New Mexico State Tax Aide Coordinator.
“For example, in New Mexico every resident who earns less than $22,000, whether wages, pension or Social Security income, can receive a state low income comprehensive rebate of up to $400, but only if you file a return,” Doniger said.
The tax returns are completed by trained AARP Tax Aide volunteers, who provide this free service in their own communities. All volunteers are trained on tax laws, how to file forms, and on most basic tax questions. All tax returns are prepared on a computer and sent electronically.
Tax Aide sites are available at 47 different locations around the state and are open from Jan. 29 to April 14 at various times and dates. By using e-filing and direct deposit of refunds, payments are received within 10-14 days. The program began in 1968 with four volunteers assisting 100 people during its first tax season. Today, 32,000 volunteers nationwide assist 36 million people file returns.
Last year, Tax Aide served 33,000 families with their tax returns netting an average of $1,000 per return at no cost to the client.