Local libraries offer free tax preparation and free e-filing
by Doris Honsa

(Plain Press, February 2006) Beginning in early February and continuing into April, free federal income tax preparation services will be available in neighborhood locations such as libraries, community centers, and senior centers through Tax-Aide, a program offered by AARP.

Tax-Aide services are completely free, and can greatly speed up the process of getting a tax refund. This can eliminate the need to give up part of one’s tax refund in fees or charges in order to get a “instant tax refund” loan from a store or fee-based tax service.

While AARP began the free tax assistance program several years ago to assist low-to-moderate income senior adults, AARP Tax-Aide is also available to other individuals, regardless of age or income, at most locations.  It is available for personal tax returns, not business tax returns.  

At many locations, the tax return can also be immediately filed with IRS by computer (e-filing), and a taxpayer can also choose to have a tax refund directly deposited to a checking account.  (A neighborhood resident who previously used Tax-Aide and filed early one February reported getting her income tax refund by direct deposit 5 days after e-filing at Carnegie West Library.)

The following locations offer free tax preparation and e-filing:

Carnegie West Branch Library, 1900 Fulton (at Bridge Avenue)
  Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  and 4-6 p.m. call 216- 623-6927

Old Brooklyn Library, 4303 Pearl Road
  Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.   call 216-623-7067

West Park Library, 3805 W. 157 Street (at Lorain Avenue)
  Mondays, 12 noon – 4:00 p.m.   call 216-623-7102

Lakewood Library Main, 15425 Detroit Avenue
  Mondays and Tuesdays, 12 noon – 4:00 p.m.  call 216-226-8275

Lakewood Library, Madison Branch, 13229 Madison Avenue
  Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  call 216-228-7428

Appointments are needed, although “walk-ins” could be seen if an appointment time was available. Additional Cleveland and suburban library locations may also be participating, so it’s also possible to use a participating library more convenient to work or transportation, for example, instead of the library closest to home. Call ahead to reserve a time and check what paperwork to bring.   


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