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Free AARP Tax Aide at the Library Helps You Prepare & File Your Taxes

Posted on January 20, 2022 at 6:00 am

Tax Help sign

By Stacey Goddard

In-person tax help is back for 2022 at our Spokane Valley, Cheney, and Moran Prairie Libraries. As you might imagine, there are a few changes this year due to the pandemic.

Free AARP Tax Aide Program

First, and most importantly, all tax help will be by appointment only—no walk-in appointments this year.

You can make an appointment now through the Washington Trust Bank appointment line at 509.353.4851.

Second, face coverings are required for all participants, both taxpayers and all Tax-Aide volunteers. Tax-Aide volunteers have additional social distancing guidelines from AARP to follow as well. To help with this, tax preparation will be using the “drop-off method” used by sites last year.

What is the “drop-off method”?

With the “drop-off method,” the taxpayer completes an intake interview with a Tax-Aide volunteer, hands over their documents, and leaves while the volunteer works on their tax return. Individuals are welcome to visit the library or stay in their car while they wait for notification that their tax return is ready for their review, approval, and submission to the IRS. As in previous years, all tax returns are filed electronically.

Lastly, to help ensure that the Tax-Aide volunteer can prepare your tax return, you will need to bring the following important documents with you to your appointment:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Your 2020 and 2019 tax returns
  • Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (IN) for each taxpayer(s), family member, and working adult included in the tax documents
  • All income statements, such as 2021 W-2s, 1098, and 1099 forms for you and your spouse
  • Any 1095 form(s), proof of health insurance
  • Childcare provider name, address, and tax ID, if applicable
  • Property tax and interest information if you’re homeowner, if applicable
  • Proof of other income for you or your spouse, if applicable
  • Form 1098T and education expenses for students, if applicable
  • Bank routing and account numbers for checking or savings account, if applicable

Here are the scheduled dates and times for Free AARP Tax Aide at SCLD libraries:

SPOKANE VALLEY LIBRARY
January 31–February 12
Mondays & Tuesdays, 4–6pm
Thursdays & Fridays, 1–4pm
Saturdays, 10am–1pm

February 14–April 15
Mondays & Tuesdays, 4–7pm (except February 21)
Thursdays & Fridays, 1–4pm
Saturdays, 10am–1pm

MORAN PRAIRIE LIBRARY
February 4–April 9
Fridays, 2–6pm
Saturdays, 10am–2pm

CHENEY LIBRARY
February 11–April 9
Select Fridays, 1–5pm
Saturdays, 11am–3pm

To schedule an appointment at one of these libraries, call the Washington Trust Bank appointment line at 509.353.4851.

For information about other locations providing Free AARP Tax Aide, please check the Spokane County United Way website.

Filing Your Taxes on Your Own

If you’d prefer to file your taxes online yourself, you can visit Free File: Do your Federal Taxes for Free on the IRS website or MyFreeTaxes by United Way and follow the on-screen instructions there.

I wrote about free tax help last year, including free online filing, in the post How to get free tax help, in person & online. In that post, I share screenshots of how to access and go through the IRS and United Way websites to file your taxes.

You can also call 1.800.TAX.FORM (1.800.829.3676) to request the IRS forms and instruction booklets you need, and the IRS will send them to you.

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