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A select group of Chicago Seniors can get free tax help

According to Investopedia, baby boomers are not as well off as their parents were when they retired, therefore almost any opportunity to save money is a done deal for this new generation of seniors.

Free help for low to moderate income retirees during tax season
Princess Clark-Wendel

With the tax season in full swing, the 60 and up club with low to moderate incomes can get free tax assistance until April 12.

The free program is called Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). It is a community based partnership. It’s managed by the Internal Revenue Service and offered by The Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) of West Suburban Cook and Southern DuPage Counties. Triton College in River Grove sponsors the annual the program for seniors.

Save Money with Free Tax Counseling, Preparation and Assistance

TCE was recently praised by Gov. Pat Quinn for shining a light on how Illinois residents can save money on preparing their tax returns. The Chicago area program is staffed by trained volunteers called tax assistors. The tax assistors help retiree’s complete their Illinois and Federal tax forms such at the 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ.

All the English only speaking locations require an appointment; seniors should contact the location closest to them to arrange a tax counseling session.

Who or what should seniors take to their appointments?

Tax preparation is remarkably similar to financial planning. One strategy looks at the past, and the other plans for the future, however, both require some of the same forms. Seniors should take the following on their appointments;

  • If married, bring spouse
  • If unable to manage financial affairs, bring the person or person responsible for acting on your behalf along with a written Power of Attorney (POA)
  • Last Year’s Tax Return –if available
  • Post 911 documentation
    • Government photo ID
    • Social Security cards for all tax filers
    • Proof of resident Status -may need to apply for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Income Statements and Earnings from All Sources
    • W-2
    • W-2G
    • 1099-R
    • 1099-Misc
    • 1099 from banks and interest bearing accounts
  • Direct Deposit Document to Receive refunds – if entitled
    • Voided Check
    • Bank Letter
    • Routing and bank account number

As you might imagine the IRS Tax filing deadline comes quickly. This year it ends on Tuesday, April 15th. Don't delay! If you are senior that qualifies for free tax assistance or know one reserve your spot at a community partner location soon.

Reader, sound your voice! We want to hear from you.

When do you think is the best time to file your taxes especially if you expect a return? Should seniors file their taxes early or wait until in the spring?

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