The popular Free Income Tax Preparation Program is offered again this year, with mandatory precautions for COVID-19 in place.
Eligible are seniors aged 60 and over. There are no income restrictions this year. If you haven’t received your $ 600 stimulus check, you will need to file an income tax return, even if you don’t have a filing requirement.
This long-term program is offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension in Madison County. The program costs are supported by an annual IRS grant. IRS certified volunteers have completed the training and will start filing tax returns on February 16 and continue through April 15.
This year there are a number of important changes regarding COVID-19. There are no more walk-in locations, so everyone must make an appointment by calling the new direct appointment line at 315-750-2638. Please include your name, phone number and the website you want to visit. Masks must be worn, health certification documents completed, and recognition and liability documents signed for risks associated with possible exposure to COVID-19 through participation in the program.
Due to COVID-19 conditions, locations available this year are limited to CCE Madison at 100 Eaton St. in Morrisville. Caz Cares on Fridays in Cazenovia; the Oneida Public Library on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; the Canastota Public Library on Wednesday; and the Sullivan Library in Chittenango on Monday and Wednesday.
Each site must sign up / sign out for contact tracking. Hand sanitizer; and seating six feet apart. Masks must always be worn by everyone and volunteers disinfect spaces between customers. Only the customer is allowed to attend the appointment – friends and family members have to wait in a car.
Anyone who feels sick; Signs of illness such as a sore throat, fever, cough, etc .; having traveled outside of the state; and / or exposure to people who tested positive in the past 14 days must be canceled and rescheduled to keep everyone safe.
Given the ongoing unknowns with the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors are urged to make appointments once they have received all tax papers as it may come at a time when services are postponed due to public health and safety concerns.
CCE Madison and the tax program volunteers are committed to this important service. Should there be a need to stop or postpone personal preparation, CCE Madison will work to determine other options to support the senior free tax close, as it did during the 2020 tax close season.
Please check the CCE Madison County website and Facebook for program updates.
To best prepare for appointments, take a look at last year’s returns to see which forms are needed this year. Make sure to bring face covering that is always worn correctly. Tax return for the last year; Social security cards for anyone who is claimed; Photo ID such as a driver’s license, even if it has recently expired; and tax information forms such as W-2 and 1099.
Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and instructor recognized for AA / EEO, Protected Veteran, and Disability Assessment providing equal program and employment opportunities.