TAX PREPARATION BEGINS FEBRUARY 4

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Welcome to Lifelong’s TCE Tax program for the 2022 tax year!

This year we will be returning to in-person preparation for most taxpayers.

 IRS Federal and NYS tax returns will be prepared this year from February 4 through April 14 by Lifelong TCE volunteers, trained and certified by the IRS

 Who is qualified for our assistance? All persons

  • age 60+ (with spouses of any age), or
  • with disabilities, or
  • with limited-English proficiency
  • families with incomes below $60,000

Note that some returns may not qualify, including rental income and loss, home office deductions, and some self-employment.

We have three options for preparation this year:

1. In-person preparation

Taxpayers will meet with a preparer and complete their return in a single visit. All Lifelong staff and volunteers providing in-person assistance will be masked and are fully vaccinated.

Taxpayers must be masked, show proof of COVID full vaccination status, and be screened for symptoms before meeting in-person with a tax volunteer (including both taxpayers on a joint return). Acceptable proofs of vaccination are a copy, photo, or original of your vaccination card OR NYS Excelsior Pass or Excelsior Pass Plus.

If you are unable to be vaccinated because of medical or other disability-related reasons, email TCE@tclifelong.org or call 607-273-1511 x258 to discuss reasonable accommodation. See information below for information for other unvaccinated taxpayers.

This year we will be meeting with taxpayers at Lifelong in Ithaca, Ulysses Philomathic Library in Trumansburg, and Southworth Library in Dryden. Note that some returns may not be able to be completed in a single visit.

To schedule an appointment for in-person preparation:

Taxpayers aged 60+ or whose return we completed last year, call 607-216-7862, Mon – Fri, between 10 am and 4 pm

Other taxpayers may call the same number for an appointment beginning March 1 or choose to use one of the options below.

BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT, packets with information about our process, what to bring, and forms to fill out before your appointment must be picked up and completed. Packets can be picked up at the following locations:

  • on the porch at Lifelong (24/7)
  • Ulysses Philomathic Library in Trumansburg
  • Groton Public Library
  • Southworth Library in Dryden

If you want to save a trip, you can complete and print the materials here:

  1. Information on tax documents to bring
  2. IRS Intake/Interview Form (Yellow form 13614C)
  3. NYS Income Tax Worksheet (TP-301)

2. Contact-free virtual process

For those interested in a contact-free option and have access to a computer or mobile device and the Internet. If you are able to upload copies (scan or photo) of your documents and interact with a volunteer preparer on a computer or mobile device, we can prepare your return (and you can sign it) in a secure virtual option. After January 31, email TCE@tclifelong.org or call 607-273-1511 x258 for more information.

3. Self-preparation with Lifelong assistance

For those interested in free software options (and a little help) to complete your own federal and state return.If you expect your AGI to be $73,000 or less, Lifelong can provide free access to Tax Slayer FSA online software (with no limitations on forms or schedules). Lifelong tax counselors will provide phone assistance by appointment and answer questions by email. Note that we are unable to provide help with questions beyond the scope of our regular services. After January 31, email TCE@tclifelong.org or call 607-273-1511 x258 with questions or to request access to the software.

 

If you have any concerns about reading, writing, communicating with us, or completing your forms, please let us know so we can help you successfully complete this year’s process and to make sure you understand your tax return. Call 607-273-1511 x258 or email TCE@tclifelong.org.

 

If you are unvaccinated for other than medical or disability-related reasons, the following free options are available to you:

  • We have a contact-free option if you are able to upload copies (scan or photo) of your documents and interact with a volunteer preparer on a computer or mobile device. After January 31 email TCE@tclifelong.org or call 607-273-1511 x258 for more information.
  • If you expect your Adjusted Gross Income to be $73,000 or less and you are comfortable preparing your return on your computer or other device with some assistance from us, we can provide you with a link to free software (Tax Slayer FSA) with no form or schedule limitations. Assistance (within the scope of our program) will be available by email and phone. After January 31 email TCE@tclifelong.org or call 607-273-1511 x258 for more information.
  • The United Way sponsors free software access for taxpayers whose income is $73,000 or less at MyFreeTaxes.com (beginning in late January). Some assistance may be available.
  • The IRS provides a number of options including commercial software (income limitations and some are not free) and fillable forms for paper filing at https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free. Some of the options will also allow free filing of a NYS return, some do not.
  • While there is no longer a VITA site for free tax preparation in Tompkins County, there may be VITA or AARP in nearby counties. We do not know what their vaccination policies are and you must check for eligibility requirements. The ones we know are operating this year are:

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is sponsored by a grant from the Internal Revenue Service with additional financial support from Lifelong and the Tompkins County Office for the Aging.