The AARP Foundation Tax Assistance Program will provide electronic tax preparation and filing at no cost to taxpayers at Cumberland County locations.
For the 2021 tax year, locations will be open in Crossville, Fairfield Glade, Jamestown, Pleasant Hill and Sparta.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special guidelines established by the IRS and Tax-Aide will be in place to better ensure the safety of volunteers and taxpayers while maintaining the security and confidentiality of taxpayer information.
The IRS and Tax-Aide have established operating models that can be used depending on the site’s COVID-19 classification.
For this tax season, all sites in Cumberland County will use the “two-visit analysis” model.
In this model, taxpayers will have an appointment where an advisor will review their completed admission form and tax documents with them, and answer any questions or concerns.
The advisor will scan the documents necessary for tax preparation and deliver all documents to the taxpayer(s).
The scanned documents will be used to prepare the tax return and to perform an independent review to ensure the return is complete and accurate.
The taxpayer(s) will return to approve and collect their completed return at a second scheduled appointment, which will normally take place approximately one week later.
This two-visit analysis model is effective for several reasons.
First, some Tax Help volunteers do not feel comfortable meeting with the general public during the pandemic. This process allows the counselor to work from home or another safe location without being exposed to others.
Second, taxpayers sometimes have unique situations that require research. This process gives advisors time to research and, if necessary, seek advice from other members of the Tax-Aide organization.
If an advisor needs additional information from a taxpayer, the advisor may call the taxpayer using a telephone number that will have been provided to the taxpayer in advance.
Finally, taxpayers’ waiting time is often reduced thanks to this model. Although two physical visits are required, the prepared tax document is fully ready for review during the second appointment.
The district is setting up a website at helpintax.com. When this website is live, each tax preparation site will have a page to provide information on the location of the site, where to pick up a pre-appointment package (required for tax preparation), and how to make an appointment. you for this site.
The pages will indicate that appointments for each site can be made over the phone by calling 931-277-3644 for Pleasant Hill; 931-836-3663 for Sparta; and 931-879-7512 for Jamestown.
Due to the greater volume of returns being prepared at Crossville and Fairfield Glade, these locations will use a tax assistance service that allows taxpayers to schedule their own appointments.
A link, which should be available on January 25, will be provided at helpintax.com.
This is the fastest way to book an appointment for these sites; however, if taxpayers are unable to use the website, appointments can be scheduled by leaving name and phone number at 931-306-6808 for Fairfield Glade and 423-520-6767 for Crossville.
Due to the pandemic, the number of volunteers helping Tax-Aide is further reduced this year.
Consequently, it is expected that the number of taxpayers who can be served this year will be lower than in previous years.
Making an appointment as soon as they open will allow you to ensure that your returns can be prepared by this service.
Finally, taxpayers are asked to refrain from calling reception facilities.
Tax-Aide is a non-profit activity and is not authorized to pay rent in order to provide this service.
Facilities that allow Tax-Aide to use their space have no involvement in the administration of this program, and Tax-Aide representatives do not want their business interrupted due to their generous hosting of Tax-Aide. Aid.
Taxpayers who are uncomfortable with exposure in public places, or who wish to pursue other tax preparation options, may consider the following:
Provides various options, including virtual repository.
Provides other service agencies such as VITA (voluntary tax assistance) or TCE (tax advice for the elderly) based on each individual postal code.
Offers access to free filing software from select partners like TaxAct, TurboTax and others for single filers and families.