AARP Tax-Aide

Beginning Feb. 1, free income tax preparation and e-filing in Walla Walla will be offered through the AARP Tax-Aide Program, said Robert Fontenot, AARP Tax-Aide Program volunteer and district coordinator, in a release.

AARP Foundation and the Internal Revenue Service co-sponsor the program.

New clients and clients who’ve previously had tax returns done at SonBridge Community Center and Walla Walla Senior Center are welcome.

A minimal-contact method of tax preparation is in place because of coronavirus concerns. Taxpayer appointments are required and can be made by calling 443-499-3622 starting on Jan. 11.

Callers must leave their names, phone number with area code and times to receive calls. A tax-aide volunteer will call them back and set up an appointment at Walla Walla Senior Center, 720 Sprague Ave.

While there, clients will fill out an intake form in their car and participate in a brief interview outside the building. Once a volunteer scans the client’s tax documents inside the building, clients will get the documents back and leave.

After scanning of documents, a volunteer will access documents online and prepare the tax return, consulting with the client via phone. Another volunteer will do a check and quality review of the tax return and consult with the client over the phone.

Finally, the client will return to the Senior Center to pick up a printed copy of their return and sign a form accepting responsibility for it and giving permission to file it electronically.

People should bring with them all documents relating to income and possible deductions; photo identification for the taxpayer and spouse; Social Security cards or ITIN papers for the taxpayer, spouse and all dependents; and, if possible, a copy of last year’s tax return.

Clients should also bring a pen or pencil to fill out the intake form in their car and a mask to put on, if close contact with volunteers becomes necessary. Clients who do not speak English should be accompanied by a friend or relative who is bilingual and can assist with the interview.

Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at 509-526-8313 or annieeveland@wwub.com.

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,