Skagit County AARP TaxAide Information

Welcome to Skagit AARP TaxAide

Tax Year 2021!


The Skagit AARP TaxAide program offers free tax return preparation, and tax consultation for most low- and middle-income tax situations. It is an all-volunteer community operation, sponsored by the AARP Foundation with Spanish language support from Goodwill. Your tax return is prepared by IRS certified tax preparers (called counselors), who must recertify annually.

If you are interested in accessing our free tax preparation service (this year for 2021 returns only), familiarize yourself with our process and call one of the sites for an appointment.

Due to the pandemic, access to Skagit AARP TaxAide services will be limited so be sure to make your appointment early! Once we run out of appointments, you will have to find another way to get your tax return done.


PROCESS

The following is a summary of the process we use called the "Two Visit Scan Model". More details on each part of the process are described in the links.

  1. Call one of the sites for an appointment

  2. Before your appointment, pick up a tax preparation packet at one of the sites and follow the instruction in "Getting Ready for Your 1st Appointment"

  3. Complete all the required forms and signatures in the packet

  4. Come to your first appointment where they will review your documents for completeness, scan them and electronically, send them to a counselor, and you will be given a 2nd appointment day/time to pick up your completed return.

  5. Receive at least one (or more) calls to discuss your return with the counselor(s) who are preparing it. (This call is required.)

  6. Return for your 2nd appointment where you will be able to review your completed return, ask questions, sign it, and give written permission for it to be sent electronically to the IRS within 24 hours.


OUR COVID Protocols

You must screen for COVID using the COVID-19 SCREENING tool below, and reschedule your appointment if you answered YES to ANY of the questions.

Masks and appropriate social distancing are required at all tax preparation sites, no exception.

All on-site staff are fully vaccinated. It is appreciated if clients are also fully vaccinated.


LET'S GET STARTED!

Choose a Site and CALL FOR an Appointment

For an appointment, call one of the site numbers below. If a live person does not answer the phone, simply leave your name and phone number at the tone and someone will call you back usually within 2 business days to schedule your appointment. When picking up your packet ahead of time at your site, be sure to get the packet that corresponds to the location of your appointment.


Anacortes - (360) 474-7731‬

United Methodist Church - 2201 H Ave


Due to Covid restrictions, access to our services will be limited again this year and appointments are required. You may leave a message at 360-474-7731 or email us at AnacortesTaxAide@gmail.com. Someone will be in contact with you to schedule an appointment. Once you have an appointment you may pick up your packet from the Anacortes Senior Center.



Burlington - (360) 755-0102

Burlington Senior Center - 1011 Greenleaf Ave.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays 10 am - 3:00 pm


Mount Vernon* (Cascade) - ‪(360) 474-7828‬

Mount Vernon Senior Center - 1401 Cleveland Ave.

Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 3 pm - 7 pm

Spanish assistance available

*Due to a shortage of qualified counselors, the regular daytime program at this site will be closed this year. Please contact one of the other sites for tax preparation services during these hours.


Concrete - Closed for the season

East County Resource Center


General Tax Questions - (360) 474-7348

This phone line is for people with a tax question. It is NOT to schedule an appointment. If you have a tax question, please leave a voicemail with your name, phone number and question, and someone will call you back.



Getting Ready For Your 1st Appointment

After you make your first appointment, be sure to pick up your packet ahead of time at one of the sites so that you can have it filled out and ready for your 1st appointment. If you have not done this, you will have to arrive at least 30 minutes early and sit in the car to complete and sign the documents in the packet. In addition to the documents in your packet, please bring the following with you to your appointment as we will need to inspect and copy them:


  1. Original Social Security card (or unexpired ITIN card) for all taxpayers and dependents. A Social Security income statement, for those receiving social security payments, is a valid substitute.


  1. Photo ID for taxpayers (not needed for dependents).


  1. All original tax documents. Please review a copy of your last year’s return to see that you have received everything. For example, if you received income from an IRA or pension in 2020, do you have the 1099-R form for 2021? If you are missing a tax document, we cannot start your return, and our preparation of your return will be delayed.


  1. You (and your spouse) will need to fill out our usual Intake form (included in your packet). Please complete all pages. It is highly recommended that you pick up a packet ahead of time at a designated site.


  1. You (and your spouse) will need to sign an IRS Form 14446 that permits us to scan your tax documents. This may be downloaded and printed (see documents below) or can be picked up ahead of time at one of the sites.


  1. A voided check if you want a refund deposited directly into your bank account or if you want to pay taxes directly from your account. (This also helps you receive quickly and directly any IRS stimulus checks that may be available to you.)

At Your First Appointment

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, your return will not be prepared in person this year. Instead, your records will be scanned so that a counselor can work on them remotely.


If married, both spouses must attend the appointment unless one is physically unable to do so. You must wear a mask at all times. Please review the COVID-19 screening protocols above prior to arriving at your appointments.


A volunteer will ask for your ID and documents that you have prepared ahead of time. The volunteer may ask questions so that we have all the information we need for your return. If everything is complete, your documents will be scanned so that they are available to our counselors when they prepare your return remotely. Your documents will be returned to you and then you may leave the site.

Preparing Your Return

A counselor will contact you soon after receiving your documents and will ask you questions in order to prepare your tax return. This will occur over the telephone or by video conference if your computer has that capability.


A second counselor then will contact you to do a quality review (a double-check) of the return before it is completed. This is done by telephone, video conference, or in person at your 2nd appointment.

Signing Your Return

During your 1st appointment, you will be given a 2nd appointment to return to the tax site to sign your return. At this 2nd appointment, your spouse (if any) must come with you to sign unless physically unable to do so. You will be able to review a draft of your printed return at this time and ask any questions that you may have. Once you sign the return in the presence of our volunteer, the process is complete and you may leave the tax site. Your return will be filed with the IRS electronically within 24 hours.

Filing an Extension

At the current time, the IRS has not extended the tax filing deadline of April 15th. If you are unable to complete your tax return by the deadline, you may want to file Form 4868 with the IRS by April 15th. This allows you an additional six months to file. If you anticipate receiving a refund, simply complete the form and mail to the IRS or file the form online. If you anticipate owing money, you will need to make your estimated payment due by April 15th to avoid penalties.


Other Tax-Aide and IRS Information

You are invited to review the following documents, which discuss your civil and taxpayer rights and responsibilities and other important topics.


COVID-19 SCREENING

Please read each of the following questions carefully. If you answer Yes to ANY of these questions, please contact t your site and reschedule your appointment to a later date.

In the past 48 hours, have you experienced any of the following symptoms?:

• Fever or chills

• Cough

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Fatigue

• Muscle or body aches

• Headache

• New loss of taste or smell

• Sore throat

• Congestion or runny nose

• Nausea or vomiting

• Diarrhea

Within the past 14 days:

  • Have you been in close physical contact (6 feet or closer for at least 15 minutes) with a person who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or with anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

  • Are you isolating or quarantining because you may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or are worried that you may be sick with COVID-19?

  • Are you currently waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test?

If you answered NO to ALL of the above questions, please come to your scheduled in-person appointment and bring all of your required materials with you.

If you answered YES to ANY of the above questions, please contact your site and reschedule your appointment for a later date.