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.
"We have the tax forms, but we only have the 1040A and the 1040EZ," she said. "The long form instructions haven't come yet. I got an email last week saying they're still at the printer. They're forcing us to go online. It's 108 pages. You can view, print or download."
Want to go?
Free tax preparation assistance— courtesy of an annual AARP-sponsored program — is available through April 15 at the Crestview Public Library, 1145 Commerce Drive. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and 2-6 p.m. Mondays. Call 682-4432 for information.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.