The Star-Herald

AARP Tax Aide Plans to Open at Caribou VFW by Feb. 23

CARIBOU, Maine — The AARP Tax Aide program is gearing up to serve the community with tax assistance to the elderly, low income and others who might need help with their taxes.

The group plans tentatively to begin on Feb. 23 at the Caribou VFW, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. These dates and times are subject to change, due to fluctuating guidelines from the CDC.

The County group has been offering tax assistance to County residents for close to 20 years, but will be operating this year under constraints that are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will will offer tax assistance at Caribou’s VFW hall at 253 Van Buren Rd., but will not operate at their University of Maine at Presque Isle site this year, as the campus is closed to the public.

Tax Aide officials said they are grateful to the VFW for offering the use of the facility. 

The group is aware that many of their clients wish to file at the state level only, for purposes of claiming a tax credit. They are only too glad to assist with this, but in the interests of minimizing congestion at the site, they ask that those clients come to the site from noon to 2 p.m. each day they are open.  Other clients are asked to arrive before that time. No new return requests will be accepted after 2 pm.

COVID social distancing and masking rules will be rigorously enforced. There will be limited capacity for clients in the building at any one time.  When numbers exceed that capacity, clients will be asked to wait in their vehicles until space becomes available.  

Clients must bring Social Security cards or other paperwork showing Social Security numbers for everyone in the household.  Clients must present a photo ID for the primary person on the return, as well as all pertinent tax documents. If paperwork is missing, clients will be asked to return another time with all necessary documents. 

As always, clients should bring a copy of the most recent prior year return, and this year are asked to bring their own pens.

Intake facilitators will, if needed, assist each client in filling out the intake information that IRS requires of the process.  Each client will be assigned to a qualified preparer, who will generate their return, which will be reviewed by another preparer before it is approved and printed.   Every client will be given a printed copy.   

Unless the client wishes to paper file, the group will e-file the return.  On rare occasions, a paper file may be required. 

If a client wishes to have direct deposit of a refund, or direct withdrawal of a payment, they must bring a copy of a check.

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