Tax-Aide: How We Do It
If you are elderly or low-income, the AARP Tax-Aide tax preparation service is for you. We don’t define what it means to be elderly or low-income and we don’t deny service to anyone. We assist retirees, elderly couples, young families, widows, widowers, single parents, young people, business people, gainfully employed folks, and more.
Who are we?
We are all volunteers and come from many backgrounds. Most of us are retired and find this a rewarding way to pay back after long and varied careers. Some of us are still working and provide this service on our off-hours during the week or week-ends.
We are trained in most aspects of personal income tax law and are certified by the IRS each year. There are some things we can’t do, so check the “What we do and don’t do” page to make sure you don’t have something that requires a professional to give you the service you need.
How does it work?
Some Tax-Aide office accept walk-ins and others require appointments. Check the “Where we do it” page to find the site closest to you, their days hours of operation, and whether they accept walk-ins or require appointments. Tax-Aide prepares both federal and state income tax returns.
When you come in you’ll experience the following:
• You’ll sign in.
• A reception facilitator will review your tax information.
• You’ll be asked to complete a form providing information regarding your tax situation.
• There may be a waiting period
• A tax counselor will escort you to their work area.
• The tax counselor will review your previous year return(s) and all current year tax-related forms.
• The tax counselor will discuss your return(s).
• The tax counselor will prepare your return(s).
• A second person will review the work done to assure that it is correct.
• You’ll sign a form authorizing Tax-Aide to electronically submit your return(s).
• Tax-Aide will give you a printed copy and return all of your tax-related documents.
• You’re done!
• Tax-Aide e-files your return, usually at the end of the day the return was prepared.
Is it really free?
There is no charge for our services. We are all volunteers and our equipment is either our own or is provided by the IRS or by donations to the AARP Foundation. Our host locations allow us to use their facilities as a public service. You can, of course, support us with your donation and you can ear-mark it for the state of Colorado if you wish, but we cannot take donations at our sites.
Is my information secure?
We prepare your return with you present, your information is always in your possession, and we keep none of your information at the site. Our local computers must pass rigid security tests and your return is prepared over an encrypted connection to a remote location and we electronically file your return from that location.