Tax help deadline Monday

Monday will be area residents' last chance to get free assistance with filing their tax returns from the annual AARP Tax Aid program, as the April 17 federal deadline to file forms quickly approaches.According to program coordinator Ray Alexander, it has been a busy tax season for him and his team of volunteers, and with just days left to file federal returns, the last-minute rush will be on for many Crossroads residents.“People have so much going on in their lives these days, sometimes these deadlines can sneak up on them,” Alexander said. “Monday will be our last day to assist area residents with their tax returns, so we hope to see those who need the assistance at the Senior Center bright and early.”According to officials with the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers will have until Tuesday, April 17, to file their 2011 tax returns and pay any tax due because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day — a holiday observed in the District of Columbia — falls this year on Monday, April 16.District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do, according to federal law; therefore, all taxpayers will have two extra days to file this year. Taxpayers requesting an extension will have until Oct. 15 to file their 2012 tax returns.Alexander said he and other volunteers will be at the Big Spring Senior Center on Monday from 8 a.m. until noon.“The AARP program provides free federal tax preparation assistance to people who cannot afford professional tax help, such as seniors, people with disabilities, those that don’t speak English and people with low-to-moderate income,” Alexander said. “AARP volunteers explain many special tax credits and deductions and how people may claim them on their tax returns. These volunteers help people complete their returns, right down to any refunds that may be due them.”Alexander said the process is easy, filers just need to be sure to bring a few vital pieces or information with them.“People need to be sure to bring all of the pertinent information with them, including W-2 forms and 1099 forms,” Alexander said. “They also need to bring any forms that show their 2011 earnings and their 2010 tax returns. We also need a social security card for every person named on the return and a photo ID for the person filing.”The Big Spring Senior Citizen Center is located at 1901 Simler Dr. in the McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark. For more information, contact Alexander at 263-4992.