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12 OYS: Free tax help available in the CSRA

people doing taxes

(February 9, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock, February 9, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There are dozens of tax preparers. Choosing the right one could mean the difference between a big refund and a big headache.

Make sure your tax preparer has an ID number with the IRS. It's something they're doing new this year to check up on tax preparers. Also, check with the company for other credentials. Know what you have to pay to the IRS or the state before you sign a return. Make sure you learn how you're being charged by the company before you pay. Avoid a preparer that charges a percentage based on your return. Ask if they'll be there to help after your return is filed. Never sign a blank return, and make sure you get a copy of it for your records.

You can also get your taxes done for free by AARP volunteers. They're available Wed-Fri through April 15. That's about until your taxes are due, of course.

Volunteers are certified and complete between 20-30 returns when they're available, usually for about four hours each day.

It's for low or moderate-income families, students, or those who are retired. They do not accept complicated returns or taxpayers who own businesses.

It takes no more than an hour. Bring any tax documents you have and any receipts that may give you deductions. You'll also have to have an ID and your social security card.

The free tax help is available in many places throughout the CSRA. Just click the Find It Button on to find out where you can get your taxes done for free near you.

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