Free tax prep offered at Clover Public Library

news@lakewyliepilot.comJanuary 28, 2014 

  • What to bring

    • Government issued identification

    • Last year’s tax return

    • Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents

    • Checkbook or pre-printed direct deposit information for your reloadable prepaid card showing routing number and direct deposit account number if you want to do a direct deposit of any refund(s).

    • W-2 from each employer

    • Unemployment compensation statements

    • SSA-1099 form showing the total Social Security benefits paid to you for the year, or Form RRB-1099, Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits

    • 1099 forms reporting interest (1099-INT), dividends (1099-DIV), proceeds from sales (1099-B), as well as documentation showing the original purchase price of your sold assets

    • 1099-R form if you received a pension or annuity, especially if you had a portion withheld for income tax purposes

    • 1099-MISC form showing any miscellaneous income

    • All forms and canceled checks indicating federal and state income tax paid (including quarterly estimated tax payments).

    Deductions

    Most taxpayers have a choice of taking either a standard deduction or itemizing their deductions. If you have a substantial amount of deductions, you may want to itemize. You will need to bring the following information:

    • 1098 form showing any home mortgage interest

    • Receipts or canceled checks for medical/dental expenses (including doctor and hospital bills and medical insurance premiums), receipts for prescription medicines, costs of assisted living services and bills for home improvements, such as ramps and railings for people with disabilities

    • Receipts for contributions to charity

    • Receipts or canceled checks for all tax income and property taxes you paid, as well as records of tax refunds

    Credits

    • Dependent care provider information (name, employer ID or Social Security number)

    • Receipts, canceled checks or 1099 forms related to continuing education

    Source: aarp.org

— When Bill Bold started doing taxes for the free AARP program 23 years ago, returns were done on paper, by hand.

“To make a copy, we used carbon paper,” said Bold, 92, of Lake Wylie. “It was slow, but life was a lot less complicated in the good ‘ol days.”

The retired pharmacist likes electronically filing, even though he and other AARP preparers had to learn a new software program during their training this year.

Beginning Feb. 4 and throughout tax season, the AARP tax program is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays at the Clover Public Library at 107 Knox St. It was created for senior citizens and low-income taxpayers. About 325 federal and 450 state returns are filed each year at the site.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistanceprogram, organized by the United Way of York County, is available from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays in February at the library. The free service is open to taxpayers earning $52,000 or less, and appointments are encouraged.

Bold is friends with Gene McCarthy, 75, a Lake Wylie man who has been a tax preparer for the AARP for 16 years.

Both enjoy the challenge of tax preparation and the joy of helping others. Taxpayers save several hundred dollars with the free filing service. There is typically a wait to meet with a preparer.

“It’s a very rewarding experience to see these people come in every year,” said McCarthy, who moved to the area after retiring from working at a power company in New Jersey. “It’s satisfying to help people save money.”

McCarthy says Bold is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to taxes, and he’s fun to be around. Bold has always been good at math and likes numbers.

“At my age, it’s important for me to be mentally nimble,” Bold said. “I have to stimulate my brain so I remain up to speed. It’s to my own benefit that I exercise my mind.”

Bold enjoys getting to know the taxpayers. People fascinate him.

“Sometimes, taxes are very entertaining,” he added.

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