AARP deploys free tax prep services

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette The Portage Lake District Library is hosting tax assistance with volunteers from the AARP free to the community.

HOUGHTON — With the arrival of tax season, free tax preparation services will be offered at public libraries like the Portage Lake District Library (PLDL).

Volunteers from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) began offering assistance Tuesday with appointments scheduled until April 10.

The services are appointment based and available on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tax assistance is offered at libraries around the country by the AARP thanks to local volunteers including in Houghton.

“They’re able to prepare over 400 returns from over 400 people every year so in terms of the number of people we serve by a single program. It’s one of our most successful programs every year,” said Dillon Geshel, PLDL’s director. “We’re happy to help with it. … It’s a huge service that we’re able to help people prepare their taxes at no cost.”

Though the AARP focuses most of its services on the elderly, the free tax assistance is available to everyone.

“It’s really a small group of really motivated dedicated people,” Geshel said.

“There’s no requirements about income or anything like that. It’s open to all,” Geshel said. “People can call the library anytime to register, and we encourage them to do so ASAP, because it fills up extremely quick.”

Already the next available open appointment is on March 14.

Appointments can be made by calling the library at 482-4570.

A complete list of important documents is available at the library. Notably, it includes photo ID, Social Security cards, last year’s income tax return, property tax statements and forms indicating income tax paid.