Free tax assistance available until April 15 at Massena Community Center

Bob Beckstead, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.
·2 min read

Mar. 14—MASSENA — As tax season continues, so does free tax preparation and electronic filing at the Massena Community Center, 61 Beach St.

The assistance is offered by the AARP Tax-Aide program, but is open to everyone and not just AARP members. It's available from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays during tax season, until April 15.

The only exception is the week of April 5, when it will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday so it doesn't conflict with a vaccination clinic on Monday.

AARP Tax-Aide Sheryl Campbell said the service is drop-off only, with masks required and social distancing with minimal contact.

"They come over, they fill out an intake sheet and put their tax paperwork together," she said.

All documents showing income for 2020, plus last year's tax return, are part of the package. That information is put in a tax envelope provided in the entryway of the Community Center, and then the information is logged in. Volunteers will call the customers and perform a small interview over the phone.

"It's required to have all the information to do your taxes. They can't do it in person," Ms. Campbell said.

Volunteers will call the customers when their taxes are completed and ready to be picked up.

It's been a busy tax season so far, with more than 400 tax returns submitted so far, she said.

"We're getting a lot every day. It's the only site for the county," she said.

However, the volunteers are keeping up with the submissions.

"We're trying to do them within a couple of days or by the next week. We've been doing really well," Ms. Campbell said.

AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program is the largest free, volunteer-based tax assistance and preparation program in the U.S., handling both state and federal returns.

The nationwide tax help program is aimed at people 50 and older and those who have low to moderate incomes, but Tax-Aide is open to anyone free of charge. You don't need to be an AARP member to take advantage of Tax-Aide's knowledgeable volunteers.

For more information, call Ms. Campbell at 315-212-0450.