A free income tax preparation service featuring certified CPAs may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. And the service has been offered right under most people’s noses for years .
Starting Feb. 7 and continuing through April, a team of retired CPAs from the Sandhill’s AARP Tax-Aide service will set up shop in the Scotland County Memorial Library and help locals file their taxes — all free of cost.
The service will be offered every Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to those who schedule appointments by calling Scotland County Parks and Recreation.
Library Director Leon Gyles said the service has been offered since before he arrived five years ago, and he expects more people that ever to take advantage of it in 2013.
“Last year we probably saw a 30 percent increase in participation, and considering it is free and simple, it hasn’t been utilized as much as it could be,” said Gyles, who expects as many as “a few hundred” to participate this year because of IRS complications at the federal level.
“The IRS is not processing any 1040s until the 30th of January … because of the fiasco with the fiscal cliff. For that reason, we expect there to be greater utilization this year.”
On the days that the service is offered, the all-volunteer team of accountants will take over the library conference room, which is partitioned into a number of different areas for privacy.
After being completed, the tax returns are filed electronically from the library’s conference room.
For those worried about security, Gyles said that a secure wired router was installed specifically for the AARP service.
“We aren’t allowed to do it wirelessly,” Gyles said.
And while the service is sponsored by the AARP, it is available to all ages. Gyles said those as young as his 20-year-old library staffers have taken advantage of the program.
“It’s a free service, a quality program and your taxes are done by qualified individuals. Utilize this program,” instructed Gyles.
To schedule your appointment, call Scotland County Parks and Recreation at 277-2585.