Local AARP in-person tax-aide services canceled due to COVID-19

PASO ROBLES — To protect the health and safety of volunteers and taxpayers, the AARP Foundation announced that in-person tax services have been canceled for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year. 

This decision will directly impact the tax services that have traditionally been offered at the Paso Robles Senior Center and Paso Robles City Library. With the July 15 filing deadline approaching, the AARP is recommending two virtual alternatives for residents in need of support to file federal and state taxes. 

Free online assistance is available for tax preparation through the AARP Foundation’s Tax- Aide program. These online support programs can be accessed by following this link: www.aarp.org/aarp-foundation/. Users may click on the help button on the AARP’s home page to complete the tax return themself using the IRS/AARP recommended websites. Residents can also choose to have an AARP tax volunteer assist them with their returns by completing a tax prep assistance request form located here: www.aarp.org/forms/tax-prep-assistance-request.html. 

Although anyone can access the Tax-Aide assistance (AARP membership is not required and there are no age or income restrictions) the program is especially suited to low-to moderate-income taxpayers who are age 50 and older. 

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If taxpayers do not expect to owe money, there is no penalty for not filing by the July 15 deadline. 

Alternative options from the AARP for taxpayers who have yet to file their returns include: 

• Wait until Tax-Aide service resumes. Taxpayers receiving a refund have three years to file their 2019 federal return and receive any refund due without incurring any penalty. Updates on the resumption of Tax-Aide service will be posted on the Tax-Aide Site Locator web page. 

• Taxpayers can extend the time to file their return for six months until October 15, 2020 by filing Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The extension may also be filed online. Note that any balance due must be paid by July 15, 2020. 

• Taxpayers can get a rough idea of their tax situation using the 2020 IRS tax withholding estimator or one of the many estimated tax calculators available on the Internet.