Seniors can receive free tax help

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Tax help for seniors Democrat Photo/Melonie Roberts Senior citizens 65 years of age and older can get free tax help from the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging. Pictured above: Donnie Williams assists Mary Evans in filling out her state and federal income tax returns. Williams will be taking appointments at the Cassville Senior Center from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. each Friday until April 12.

Area senior citizens 65 years of age and older, or individuals who have been determined to be 100 percent disabled can receive free assistance in filling out and filing their annual state and federal income tax forms.

The service is offered through the Southwest Missouri Office on Aging (SWMOOA).

Donnie Williams, a representative of SWMOOA, has performed the service for three years and urges clients to bring all tax-related documents to their appointments.

"They must bring in information on all sources of income, Social Security, retirement accounts and annuities," Williams said, "as well as their property tax receipt or rental payment information, if they qualify for a property tax or rental rebate."

Income taxes are electronically filed, so seniors don't have to worry about getting their forms to the post office.

"We can also request direct deposit into their bank account," Williams said.

Appointments can run 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the difficulty of the return.

"Some are pretty simple," Williams said. "Others, such as itemized returns, can take a little longer."

Volunteers providing the service attend a week-long training in Springfield in December, and another week's training in January to become familiar with changes in the tax laws.

"Right now, state and federal returns are both running about two weeks before people get their checks," Williams said.

For more information or to make an appointment, call the Cassville Senior Center at 847-0131.

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