Free tax help offered at Crestview Public Library through April 15

tax help library Laurel hill mayor joan smith pat hagan aarp

Laurel Hill Mayor Joan Smith, left, receives tax preparation assistance from AARP tax aide Pat Hagan at the Crestview Public Library.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 10:19 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Professional tax preparation can be unaffordable for households on fixed or limited incomes.

For them, the AARP's crew of volunteer tax advisers comes to the rescue, four days a week at the Crestview Public Library.

"They're kept very busy," reference librarian Sandra Dreaden said. "People are sometimes lined up at the door in the morning."

"They're here Saturdays this year as well," assistant library director Marie Garcia said.

As preparing personal income taxes becomes increasingly bewildering, local taxpayers who might get their 1099s confused with their 1040s risk making errors that could cost them bigger refunds — or worse, could incur fines for innocent oversights, tax preparation volunteers say.

Taxpayers do not have to belong to AARP or prove limited income to use the free service, Dreaden said. The service's volunteers must complete a weeklong training program, according to Bob Allen, who was a tax prep adviser at the library in past years.

The library also provides free IRS tax forms and several of the instruction booklets, Dreaden said.

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