Free help with tax returns available
Seniors — and others — can get help filing income taxes through the county department on aging.
The program is mostly used by people over 65, department director Gayla Ratzlaff said.
“We can help anybody at any age, but mainly the population we’ve served in the past is who we are helping now,” Ratzlaff said.
There are a few criteria to qualify for help.
“They can’t make more than $60,000,” she said. “We don’t do small businesses or people who have rentals. Our program just does not have the forms to do that because it’s considered out-of-scope.”
To schedule an appointment, qualifying taxpayers can call the department at (620) 382-3580.
“We’re asking people to give us a call and set up a time to bring in their tax forms,” she said. “They bring them in and drop them off, and we do it and they come in to review them and sign a form that it’s OK for us to e-file.”
Taxes are prepared at Marion Senior Center, but if a senior is comfortable dropping off their information at a different senior center, the department will pick up the material, perhaps not on the same day.
“If they’re OK with them sitting there, if they drop them off, we will come get them,” she said.
The department also files homestead returns.
“Our hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., so it’s just a matter of them giving us a call to set up a time to bring them in,” Ratzlaff said. “They do have to bring their driver’s license so we know who they are.”
People who don’t qualify for assistance through the department on aging might qualify to file online through the Internal Revenue Service website, Ratzlaff said.
The website has a list of tax preparation companies that offer free services for qualifying filers. The services guide users through the tax return.
Each company offering free filing has its own set of qualifications for the service, and some charge to file state returns.
Last modified Feb. 10, 2022