Bob Watkins (left), coordinator of the AARP Foundation Tax Aide volunteers, finishes a tax form for a resident on Feb. 6, the first day of the free service, which is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 12 (except March 13 and 15) at the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes, 1701 Broadway in Marble Falls, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through April 9 at the Hill Country Community Foundation building, 403 E. Jackson St. in Burnet. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — A popular free individual tax preparation service drew a large crowd on its first day of operation Feb. 6.
While AARP Foundation Tax Aide volunteers don’t officially begin working until 9 a.m. each Tuesday and Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes, 1701 Broadway in Marble Falls, they discovered a long line of people waiting for them at the door when they arrived at the facility at 8 a.m.
In fact, those coming at 9:30 a.m. to sign in were told there was a chance they would be asked to come back on Thursday due to the overwhelming demand the first day.
Coordinator Bob Watkins was happy to see so many people asking for help with their taxes, especially the two groups for which the service was specifically created: low-income and older residents. It usually only takes a few minutes to complete tax forms for these filers because they don’t typically have much paperwork associated with their returns.
However, Watkins emphasized anyone who needs help is welcome
“It’s not right with only two forms to file (for people to pay for a service),” he said, “but we don’t turn anyone away.”
That means anyone who needs help is welcome to use the free service, which is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 12 at the Marble Falls location as well as 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through April 9 at the Hill Country Community Foundation building, 403 E. Jackson St. in Burnet.
The Marble Falls service will not available March 13 and 15 due to Spring Break.
Taxpayers need to bring a photo identification, Social Security cards for everyone on their return, and all tax documents. Last year’s return is very helpful, Watkins said.
“We all enjoy it,” Watkins said about the volunteers offering their time and expertise. “It’s a good service to the community — anything to try to reduce the burden of folks in filing (their taxes).”
He said some tax filers might require more attention than what the program allows, such as those with depreciations, complicated business expenses, and business losses. Those individuals, Watkins said, should seek a professional preparer.