Lebanon County Tax-Aide Program Suspended Due to Coronavirus Concerns
(Lebanon, PA) – AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free, volunteer-based tax preparation and assistance service is suspending in-person tax preparation services in all Pennsylvania sites including Lebanon County. As the coronavirus pandemic evolves, AARP Foundation and its community partners has determined that the Tax-Aide program can NOT open any of its in-person sites for the remainder of the tax season, which has been extended to July 15. The health and safety of program volunteers and taxpayers remains AARP Foundation’s top priority, and this decision about re-opening was made with that in mind.
Tax clients have some options as the July 15 deadline approaches:
1. Anyone expecting a refund has up to three years to file that return without any penalty for late filing. Those clients returning to the Lebanon County Tax-Aide program in 2021 may schedule a double appointment for both 2019 and 2020 tax returns.
2. Anyone expecting to owe taxes must either
a. file their returns by July 15 and pay the tax due or
b. file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and pay the amount of taxes due at the same time
(This Form 4868 is online at irs.gov. Tax clients without internet access may ask a family member for help or use a paid tax preparer for this year.)
3. Clients or their family members may use the online tax software or another free online tax service. AARP Foundation is providing free access to online tax software through its Tax-Aide program through July 15. Go to aarp.org and search for “help with tax preparation.” The virtual service is being offered as an alternative to AARP Foundation Tax-Aide’s traditional in-person services, which were suspended at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although Tax-Aide provides free tax preparation and filing services to all taxpayers, many of its clients are over 65 — a group considered by health experts to be at higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.
4. Those who only want to file for Rent Rebate or Property Tax Rebate have until December 31 to file. To get help completing the PA 1000 form taxpayers may call the Area Agency on Aging OR contact the offices of their PA Representative or PA Senator
The volunteers in the Lebanon County Tax-Aide program are sadden that they cannot offer their volunteer help to the tax clients at this time. They are hoping to reopen in 2021. The program is already planning for that tax season and is considering various safe options: a modified in-person service, based on the traditional Tax-Aide preparation model, incorporating adjustments to make it safe for volunteers and taxpayers. (Availability of this service is dependent on health data trends for U.S. state and counties, host site restrictions, and the number of volunteers who are able to staff the site.) Virtual services are also being explored with some in-person assistance.
or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669) for more information.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connections. As AARP’s charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Bolstered by vigorous legal advocacy, we spark bold, innovative solutions that foster resilience, strengthen communities and restore hope.
To learn more, visit aarpfoundation.org
Contact: (Kem Hoffer, 717-203-6308)