By SANDRA AUDE

Carroll County Local

Tax-Aide Coordinator

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide will be preparing taxes at the Carroll County Senior Center but with some changes and requirements. Taxes will not be prepared face to face as in the past. We are looking to use a “drop-off model” to limit contact with clients.

If you already have your name on the list of interested clients, you will be contacted to set-up an appointment. Each taxpayer is required to bring their social security card, a picture identification (driver’s license), and the forms to file income tax (W-2, 1099s for retirement, social security, interest, dividends, etc.).

You will be asked to fill-out the 13614-C Intake/Interview and Quality Review Sheet and have an interview with a tax facilitator to go over all of your information. Once your interview is completed your will leave all of your forms with the facilitator and leave the Senior Center. A qualified counselor will prepare your taxes.

When your tax return is completed you will be called to set an appointment to go over your return and sign form 8879 authorizing e-filing – if filing married but jointly, a signature if required from each spouse. Everyone coming into the Senior Center is required to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Once your tax return is completed you will be able to complete your Carroll County tax freeze paperwork with Deb Connor or Karen Holm.

If your tax return is not complicated, you may consider doing your own taxes online through several tax preparation programs. Most of them are free if you meet the program’s requirements. One option is IRS.gov for federal returns and Illinois.gov for state returns.

One other thing to think about, especially if you are a senior or disabled is if your income meets the filing threshold or requirement.

If your filing status is Single and at the end of 2020 you were under age 65 then file a return if gross income was at least $12,400; if your filing status is Single and at the end of 2020 you were age 65 or older then file a return if gross income was at least $14,050.

If your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and at the end of 2020 you were both under age 65 then file a return if gross income was at least $24,400; if your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and at the end of 2020 one spouse was age 65 or older then file a return if gross income was at least $26,100.

If your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and at the end of 2020 both spouses were age 65 or older then file a return if gross income was at least $27,400.

Gross Income means all income you received in the form of money, goods, property and services that isn’t exempt from tax but does not include any social security benefits.

The above filing status categories are the most common. Please check the IRS Instructions for Form 1040 to file as - married filing separately, head of household, or qualifying widow(er).

If you usually do not file income tax but have not received your stimulus payment (if you qualify), you may want to file income tax for 2020 to be able to get your stimulus tax credit.