We had three options for preparation this year –
Self-preparation with help from Lifelong.
1. Hybrid preparation
Taxpayers participated in a brief face-to-face intake interview appointment to deliver their tax documents and required forms. Returns were completed separately by volunteer preparers. After completion, taxpayers returned to sign and file their returns. All Lifelong staff and volunteers providing in-person assistance during the intake interview were fully vaccinated.
Taxpayers were required to show proof of Covid full vaccination status before meeting in person with a tax volunteer. Acceptable proofs of vaccination were a copy, photo, or original of your vaccination card OR NYS Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus. Masks were required regardless of vaccination status.
Those unable to be vaccinated because of medical or other disability-related reasons, could email TCE@tclifelong.org or call 607-273-1511 x258 to discuss reasonable accommodation.
Those who were unvaccinated for any other reason, had preparation options explained at the bottom of this page.
BEFORE APPOINTMENTS, packets with information about our process, what to bring, and forms to fill out had to be completed. Packets could be picked up in person at several locations or could be printed from these links:
New York has a new Real Property Tax Relief Credit. If you own your home, you were asked to bring copies of all your 2021 property tax bills to your intake appointment to determine your eligibility
2. Contact-free virtual preparation
A contact-free option was available to those with access to a computer or mobile device and the Internet. If you were able to upload copies (scan or photo) of your documents and interact with a volunteer preparer on a computer or mobile device, we were able to prepare your return in a secure virtual option.
3. Self-preparation with Lifelong assistance
For those whose AGI was $73,000 or less, Lifelong provided free access to Tax Slayer FSA online software (with no limitations on forms or schedules). Lifelong tax counselors provided phone assistance by appointment and answered questions by email, within scope.
If you were unvaccinated for other than medical or disability-related reasons, the following free options were available to you:
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is sponsored by a grant from the Internal Revenue Service, support from the United Way, and financial underwriting by Lifelong
Are you struggling with questions like these? . . . How do I go about enrolling in Medicare? When do I have to enroll in a Prescription Drug Program? What will a Medigap Policy do for me? Am I eligible for EPIC, the NY state prescription drug program? Is extra help available to pay for prescription drug costs?
How does Medicaid work with Medicare?
We can help you through the mazes of health insurance, prescription drug programs and Medicare (including Part D) with HIICAP counseling and workshops.
HIICAP, the Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program, offers help in your search for answers to your health insurance questions. Our certified HIICAP Counselors will work with you one on one either via zoom, over the phone, or in person. To make an appointment or for more information, please call Lifelong at (607) 273-1511 and leave a message for Mary-Ann Reeter.
Lifelong’s HIICAP Program is funded by the Tompkins County Office of the Aging