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AARP tax program will return to Medford this spring

I’m curious to know, is AARP is going to be offering tax preparation services anywhere in Medford this year? I’m always so anxious to pay taxes every year.

— No name provided, via email

We admittedly answered your question once before, but local volunteers involved with the federally funded AARP Tax Aide program gave us some better information about the free tax services they’re offering this year — along with when and where to find them.

According to David Argetsinger, the District Coordinator for the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program in Jackson County, no AARP volunteers are conducting in-person tax preparation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only one drop-off site — which local volunteers moved from The Grove to the Ashland library in order to facilitate document scanning — has begun processing taxes on a drop-off, appointment-only basis.

“Some of our volunteers are preparing taxes remotely, at home, for people who have been able to make an appointment to have their tax records scanned at the Ashland library,” Argetsinger said in an email. “Beginning on March 11, a similar procedure will be in place at the Talent library.”

According to AARP Tax Aide Talent Library Location Coordinator Elmer Grable, neither the Ashland location nor the Talent location will offer traditional in-person tax help this year.

“What we now provide is a low contact virtual service where the taxpayer comes to the site by appointment only,” Grable said in an email, adding that taxpayers they help should have nearly all of their forms filled out ahead of time.

From there, the volunteer helps prepare the qualifying individual’s taxes from home, meets briefly with the taxpayer at a later date to review everything and then e-files the return once it’s good to go.

We previously stated that there were “no Medford locations this year.” According to Argetsinger, that won’t be true for the entirety of tax season.

Depending on the number of vaccinated and trained volunteers, the AARP Tax Aide program is hoping to return to sites such as the Rogue Valley Mall and Eastwood Baptist Church in Medford, along with the sites in White City and Shady Cove.

Those volunteers, however, likely won’t be up and running until about April 1, Argensinger estimates. Nearly half of the state’s current volunteer roster is still getting their e-filing licenses from the IRS.

Argetsinger said he’s hoping the government extends the April 15 deadline, “but for now they do not want to encourage procrastinators.”

All AARP tax services are appointment only this year. For information on setting up an appointment and upcoming local AARP Tax Aide sites see taxaide.aarpfoundation.org or call 1-888-227-7669.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501 or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.