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Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance from AARP, United Way Suncoast, and Step Up Sarasota is ongoing, but fewer slots will be available this year.
Most organizations have switched to appointment-only to limit capacity and follow COVID-19 prevention protocols. Some processes are virtual and only allow drop-off and pick-up.
Ron DiLonardo, AARP site manager for the Selby Library tax advisor, expects the organization to only prepare taxes for 1,300 to 1,400 individuals or couples, compared to 4,000 last year.
“We won’t be able to help 4,000 people because we are limited,” said DiLonardo, who has led the volunteer operation with Sarasota coordinator Mike Roberts for the past 12 years. “Our appointment structure is currently 35 per day on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Friday we have a smaller crew. You will only do 24 (per day). “
The service will not be offered in Fruitville or Gulf Gate libraries this year. Taxpayers attend a drive through service at Selby Library, 1331 First St., Sarasota. DiLonardo said those who apply for free tax preparation will need to stop by to pick up paperwork and make an appointment to give their information. They will be notified when to come back and collect their information and approve the electronic filing of their taxes.
Eight tax advisors will work from home, along with two appraisers. Appointments start on Thursday and tax preparation starts next week.
AARP tax advisor to the Selby Library
Mondays and Thursdays from 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 941-217-0399.
Venice and North Harbor
In Venice, AARP’s free income tax prep service begins this week and runs Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Woodmere Park, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd. To make an appointment, go to taxaide.aarpfoundation.org or call 941-237-0786.
AARP asks attendees to collect tax packages in Venice either in the William H. Jervey Jr. public library in Venice, 300 Nokomis Ave. S., or in the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd. to pick up.
AARP also offers free tax preparation services in North Port at Shannon Staub Library, 4675 Career Lane. Appointments must be made by calling 941-861-1744.
The appointments take place on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., tax processing on Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For more information, please visit the AARP website www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide or contact AARP at 888-687-2277 or 888-227-7669.
For information about the services offered by Sarasota County’s libraries, visit /scgovlibrary.libanswers.com/faq/293849.
According to a press release, Suncoast United Way’s voluntary income tax assistance will serve taxpayers in six locations in South County and Sarasota.
All taxes are created by appointment only on 813-419-3918. COVID-19 screenings are carried out on site. Only the taxpayer and their spouse (if filing together) are allowed on-site, and taxpayers and volunteers are required to wear face covering.
- Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota.
- Goodwill Manasota North Sarasota, 5150 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
- United Way Suncoast Sarasota Regional Office, 1800 Second St., Suite 102, Sarasota.
- Goodwill Manasota North Harbor, 14879 Tamiami Trail, North Harbor.
- Goodwill Manasota Rialto, 676 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice.
- All Faiths Food Bank / DeSoto Food and Resource Center, 1021 E. Oak St., Arcadia.
Boost the sun coast
Step Up Suncoast offers free tax assistance in seven locations, most of which are virtual or just drop-off and pick-up. For more information, call 941-300-2256.
- Step Up Suncoast, 6428 Parkland Drive, Sarasota; Monday and Wednesday until April 14th from 2pm to 5pm.
- 13th Avenue Dream Center, 922 24. St. E., Bradenton; Saturdays from February 13 to April 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Bayside Community Church, 15800 State Road 64, Bradenton, every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Goodwill State Road 70, 8750 SR 70 East, Bradenton, every Wednesday from February 12 to April 7 from 9 a.m. to noon.
- Florida State College Veterans Service Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton, Room 101, Building 60. Contact 941-752-5075 for an appointment.
- Catholic Church of the Holy Cross, 501 26. St. W., Palmetto. Virtual site, submission only.
What to bring
The documents required by tax advisors include:
- Income tax return for the last year
- Social security cards and correct birth dates for all family members
- Photo ID (if submitted together, both spouses must be present with ID)
- W-2 forms for all jobs performed during the tax year
- All 1098 forms (for mortgage, college expenses, etc.)
- All 1099 and other forms of income
- Form 1095-A (ACA health insurance)
- Amount of income that is not shown on a statement
- Records of deductible / qualifying expenses that are not listed on a bank statement
- An invalid check or savings account number for direct deposit or direct payment (recommended)
- Information on the child care worker (name, address, tax number / social security number)