AARP Foundation Tax-Aide will get your tax returns filled out and filed — all for free.
The program, aimed at taxpayers 50 and older, is free and doesn’t require AARP membership. You’ll get assistance from volunteers certified by the Internal Revenue Service. You can even get your tax return sent electronically for free, which will speed your refund. To get help with preparing your tax return from an IRS-certified volunteer, book an appointment using the Site Locator. But you can’t just walk in empty-handed or — even worse — with a shoebox full of receipts. Here’s what you will need:
- All correspondence received from the IRS and your state/local taxing authority.
- Social Security cards and/or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number notices/cards or other official documentation that show the taxpayer identification numbers for every individual on your return.
- Government-issued photo ID for each taxpayer.
- Checking or savings account information if you want to direct-deposit any refund(s) or direct-debit any amounts due.
- Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) (for each individual if applicable). Don't have one? The IRS can send you one.
- W-2 forms for each employer.
- 1099-G form for unemployment compensation or state/local income tax refunds.
- SSA-1099 form showing the total Social Security benefits paid to you for the year, or RRB-1099, Tier 1 railroad retirement benefits form.
- 1099 forms (or other statements) reporting interest (1099-INT), dividends (1099-DIV) and/or proceeds from sales (1099-B), plus documentation showing the original purchase prices if you sold stocks or other assets.
- 1099-R form if you received a pension, annuity or IRA distribution.
- 1099-MISC, 1099-K or other 1099 forms. If you have a business, bring a summary list of all your income (cash and noncash) and all business-related expenses.
- Information about any other income of any form, including cash.
- Any stimulus check receipt or tax document that you may have received from your state.
Records of any federal and/or state and/or local income tax paid (including quarterly estimated tax payments) if not shown on income documents.
Most taxpayers have a choice of taking either a standard deduction or itemizing their deductions. You need to have more itemized deductions than the standard deduction. If you have a substantial amount of deductions, you may want to itemize. If so, bring the following information:
- 1098 form showing home mortgage interest.
- A summary list of medical/dental/vision expenses, including doctor and hospital bills and medical insurance premiums, prescription medicines, assisted living services, long-term insurance and bills for medical-related home improvements such as ramps and railings for people with disabilities.
- Summary of cash and noncash contributions to charity.
- Property tax bills paid during the year (frequently shown on mortgage statement).
- 1095-A forms if you purchased insurance through the marketplace (exchange).
- Dependent care provider information — name, address, telephone number and employer ID or Social Security number and amount paid to provider.
- 1098-T form for education expenses plus statement of account from the educational institution showing tuition and fees actually paid and scholarships, grants, etc. received. Bring a summary of any other education expenses.
- 1098-E form for student loan interest.