Free tax-preparation assistance available

The AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation for taxpayers with low to moderate income in Alaska through the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Programs. Membership in AARP or being a retiree is not necessary to use this free service. Among the 27 sites where assistance will be available is:

• Homer Senior Center, 3935 Svedlund Street, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays; by appointment only; call 235-7655.

Taxpayers should bring the following documents:

• Government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, for all adult taxpayers;

• Social Security cards or other official documentation for yourself and all dependents;

• Last year’s tax return;

• If you do a direct deposit of any refund(s), bring your checkbook or the deposit information showing the routing number and account number;

• Income documentation: W-2 from each employer; unemployment compensation statements; SSA-1099 form showing total Social Security benefits paid to you for the year or Form RRB-1099, Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits; 1099 forms reporting interest, dividends, proceeds from sales, as well as documentation showing the original purchase price of your sold assets;  1099R form if you received a pension or annuity, especially if you had a portion withheld for income tax purposes; 1099 MISC form showing any miscellaneous income;

• Payment documentation: All forms and canceled checks indicating federal tax paid, including quarterly estimated tax payments;

• Deduction documentation: Most taxpayers have a choice of taking either a standard deduction or itemizing deductions. If you have a substantial amount of deductions, you will need: 1098 form showing any home mortgage interest; receipts or canceled checks for medical and dental expenses, including doctor and hospital bills and medical insurance premiums; receipts for prescription medicines, costs of assisted living services and bills for home improvements, such as ramps and railings for people with disabilities; receipts for charity contributions; receipts or canceled checks for all tax income and property taxes paid, as well as cords of tax refunds;

• Credit documentation: Dependent care provider information (name, address and employer ID or Social Security number), education expense documentation such as receipts, canceled checks, 1099-T forms and student account printout related to college or continuing education.