AARP program offers tax filing help for Western Pennsylvania seniors
West Mifflin couple Carolyn and Jack Pollard know where to go when they need help with their taxes.
They both filed with the assistance of an IRS-certified tax counselor through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program Monday at the office of state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Dravosburg, 751 Pittsburgh-McKeesport Blvd. in Dravosburg.
“They're always very accommodating when you call,” Carolyn Pollard said of AARP. “(They are) very nice people to deal with.”
The foundation offers free, individualized tax preparations for low- to moderate-income taxpayers age 60 and older at roughly 6,000 locations nationwide. The program has helped nearly 50 million people since 1968.
Kortz's office is just one of 28 locations in Allegheny County hosting AARP tax preparers. Some sites are by appointment only, others accept walk-ins.
“It helps us out because we don't know what we're doing,” Jack Pollard said. “It's a good experience.”
AARP program tax counselors are volunteers, and are certified every year to help stay abreast on tax codes.
Volunteer David Horgan helped the Pollard family.
Horgan, a tax counselor for 10 years, said the AARP is always looking for more volunteers and the organization provides training.
“It's just an effort to help people,” Horgan said. “It keeps your mind active. It's stimulating for us.”
Horgan said locations usually have between three and five tax counselors who file at least 200 returns each year.
Kortz's legislative assistant D.J. Ryan said their location's program is by appointment Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and there is a waiting list.
“I'm proud to partner with AARP and community volunteers to offer help to seniors with doing their state and federal taxes,” Kortz said. “Tax preparation can be confusing and costly, so I'm glad I can ease the minds of seniors who may need this help.”
Some of the documents participants should bring include a copy of last year's income tax returns, W-2 forms from each employer, unemployment compensation statements, SSA-1099 forms if paid Social Security benefits, and all receipts or canceled checks if itemizing deductions.
More information about the program, including other site locations and hours of operation, is available online at aarp.org/taxaide or by calling 888-227-7669.
Other local facilities also offer tax help, or refer citizens to proper locations.
Clairton Public Library has tax forms available, but no program. The library directs patrons to Lifespan Steel Valley at 530 Miller Ave. in Clairton.
Lifespan coordinator Norma Reza said they host AARP's tax program on a first-come, first-served basis on Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through April 8.
She said there are always familiar faces at tax time.
“They know to bring all their papers because they come every year,” Reza said. “The same people come every year. They know (the volunteer's) here. He e-files all their returns. Anybody can come in here. We don't take appointments. We go by numbers.”
Carnegie Library of McKeesport, 5107 Library St., has state and federal income tax forms available on site, and the library directs community members to agencies and locations where free tax preparation is offered.
The library directs its patrons to the CC Mellor Memorial Library, Squirrel Hill Library, Homewood Library, Hill District Library, Rankin Christian Center, Westinghouse Human Service Center, Forest Hills Senior Center, CCAC Boyce Campus, the City County Building in Pittsburgh, and Just Harvest.
North Versailles Public Library does not offer tax assistance programs. Officials there refer people to sites in Monroeville such as CCAC Boyce Campus, Monroeville Senior Center, Hillcrest Presbyterian Church and Westinghouse Human Service Center in Turtle Creek.
In Westmoreland County, North Huntingdon Township Town House at 11279 Center Highway hosts AARP tax assistance for walk-ins Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hazelwood man shot in Homestead
- Homestead Cemetery records will be preserved
- Yankee Doodle Dandies still going strong
- Mon Valley motorists can expect more traffic woes
- More Mon Valley communities add banners honoring veterans
- McKeesport council approves sewage treatment plant lease
- McKeesport Area students navigate obstacles
- Mon Valley region prepares to celebrate Fourth of July in style
- Brewster among senators proposing new fireworks legislation
- Animal rights group protests in Pleasant Hills
- Elizabeth Twp. scraps results of Civil Service test