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Center to offer free tax assistance for seniors

February 03, 2010 - Ortonville- Income tax season can often cause feelings of anxiety when taxpayers are faced with numbers to crunch and forms to fill out, but help is right around the corner.

Professional tax consultants will offer free tax assistance to senior citizens and anyone else needing help with their taxes from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12 and Friday, March 12, at the Edna Burton Senior Center, 345 Ball St.

Lynne Schank, a Groveland Township resident, will be one of the consultants offering help through the AARP.

"We give tax advice for pretty much anybody," she said. "The restrictions are if you have a lot of stock transactions, or run your own business."

Schank, a retired Brandon School District teacher, has been providing income tax assistance for more than 10 years in the Flint area and said the AARP tax consultants all have a great deal of experience. They also have a 97 percent accuracy rate because all work is checked by another tax consultant on site.

"We have experience with doing retiree income taxes and we check everything," she said. "If I transpose a number, someone will catch it. Come and get it done, for free."

Appointments are encouraged and filers need to bring with them several pieces of information, including all W-2s, 1099 forms, pension statements, interest/dividend statements, withdrawals from IRAs, last year's tax information, Social Security card and picture identification, mortgage interest statement, rent information, jury duty income or gambling winnings and ssi or disability information or proof that you are disabled or are taking care of someone who is disabled if applicable. Residents may also want to bring recent Consumers Energy bills to see if they are eligible for a heating tax credit. Tax breaks are also possible if you bought a new house or car in 2009. To make an appointment, sign up at the senior center, or call 248-627-6447.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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