Free tax help for the elderly
Starting Feb. 2, the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging (SWMOA), in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), will be provide free tax preparation help to seniors age 60 or older.
The free tax help can be accessed at any of the senior centers in Barry County, which are located in Cassville, Shell Knob and Monett. Homebound seniors can also set up times for volunteers to provide in-home tax help by calling their local senior center.
Tax help will be offered at the Cassville Senior Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays. To make an appointment, call 847-4510.
Monett area seniors can get tax help from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. To make an appointment at the Monett center, call 417-235-3285.
Lake area seniors will have access to free tax assistance on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make an appointment at the Shell Knob Senior Center, call Martha Buessing at 417-858-6952.
Volunteers who will be providing the free tax help are qualified, trained and bound to confidentiality. They are able to provide seniors with assistance in completing federal and state tax returns as well as Missouri real estate tax or rental rebate forms for individuals age 65 or older, disabled individuals and individuals age 60 or older receiving surviving spouse Social Security benefits.
Total income, including Social Security benefits, must be $30,000 or less for a single person and $34,000 or less for a married couple to qualify for a real estate tax rebate. Total income, including Social Security benefits, must be $27,500 or less for a single person and $29,500 or less for a married couple to qualify for a rental rebate.
Those who need tax help are asked to bring the following items to their appointment:
*Photo ID and Social Security cards for individual, spouse and dependents.
* Last year's Missouri and federal tax returns and any tax booklets and forms received.
* Income documentation, documentation of economic stimulus payment, Social Security forms 1099s, W-2s, interest and dividend income forms 1099, IRA distributions, stock sales and any other papers that show income received in 2008.
* A paid real estate tax receipt.
Persons who do not have to file a Missouri and federal tax return but qualify for a tax rebate on real estate taxes or rental income need to bring the following documents:
* Last year's return and the yellow booklet received this year.
* A 2008 paid real estate tax receipt or proof of rent paid in 2008.
* Social Security form 1099s, interest and dividend income forms 1099, W-2s, IRA distributions and any other documents that show income received in 2008.
* Those filing as a disabled individual must bring a copy of the letter from Social Security, a Medicare card or other proof of disability status.