Staff Report

Free help for low- and moderate-income taxpayers with preparing federal and state tax return forms will be available from Feb. 3 through April 13 at the Solvang Senior Center.

Although the focus is on seniors, taxpayers of all ages are welcome. 

The Tax-Aide program is sponsored by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service. Volunteers trained by the IRS and Franchise Tax Board will provide assistance in the completion and e-filing of tax returns.

All assistance is by appointment only, between 1 and 3 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. To schedule an appointment, call the Solvang Senior Center 805-688-3793.

Tax clients must bring their Social Security cards, a valid picture ID, records of any 2019 wages (W-2 forms) and all 1099 forms received that report income from such items as interest, dividends, pensions/annuities and IRAs, as well as copies of tax year 2018 federal and state tax returns.

Seniors receiving Social Security should note that SSA 1099 indicating 2019 payments will be needed. Persons who may be able to itemize deductions should bring records of tax bills, medical expenses, mortgage interest payments, charitable contributions and any other expenses they might feel are deductible.

Complex returns that entail rental property, farming or businesses that have more than $25,000 of expense are beyond the scope of the program and should be taken to a professional tax preparing firm.