February brings Groundhog Day, the Chinese New Year, the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and birthdays of some American presidents.
It also marks the point at which many people start thinking about their annual income tax returns.
As usual, trained volunteer members of Tax Aide will be in Cambria to help low- and middle-income taxpayers with their personal tax returns for free, as long as those returns are uncomplicated and can be completed in about an hour.
This year’s local Tax Aide participants — Terry Throop (area coordinator), Roxanne Styles and Jan Grocott — will be available to help at no charge from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays from Feb. 1 through April 18 at Rabobank, 1070 Main St. at Pineknolls Drive.
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For details or to set an appointment, call 805-931-6308 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Spanish speakers can call 805-314-0786. Additional information is available at the Tax Aide Central Coast website, www.ccfreetax.org.
The volunteers stand ready to help taxpayers figure out how to comply with tax laws. Throop said that among the new wrinkles this year that could confuse taxpayers are how changes to the Affordable Care Act could affect their tax status.
The Tax Aide program, run jointly by the IRS and AARP, is directed at personal tax returns for low- and middle-income taxpayers, especially seniors. Program counselors are certified through annual training and can handle the vast majority of tax situations on those returns.
More complicated or time-consuming problems, such as those involving depreciation, rental property or farm income, should be taken to paid preparers.