CCE Madison County offering free income tax preparation for seniors | Local News

Madison County, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extensions’ popular Free Income Tax Preparation program will be offered again this year with COVID-19 mandatory precautions in place.

Seniors 60 years and older are eligible to participate, and there are no income limits this year.

This longstanding program is offered out of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Madison County with program costs supported through an annual IRS grant, officials say. IRS Certified Volunteers have completed training and will begin preparing tax returns on Feb. 16, 2021, and continue until April 15.

Officials say filers should take note that if they have not received their $600 stimulus check, they will need to file an income tax return even if they do not have a filing requirement.

There are a variety of important changes this year considering COVID-19. There are no more walk-in sites, so everyone must make an appointment by calling the new direct appointment line at (315) 750-2638. Filers should be prepared to leave their name, phone number, and the site they would like to visit (see list below). Masks must be worn, health attestation paperwork completed, and acknowledgment and liability paperwork signed for risks associated with potential exposure to COVID-19 through program participation.

Due to COVID-19 conditions, the sites available this year are limited to the following:

  • CCE Madison at 100 Eaton Street, Morrisville
  • Caz Cares on Fridays
  • Oneida Public Library on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Canastota Public Library on Wednesday
  • Sullivan Library-Chittenango on Monday and Wednesday

Each site will have:

  • sign in/sign out sheets for contact tracing
  • hand sanitizer
  • seating with 6-feet distances

Masks must be always worn by all, and volunteers will sanitize spaces between clients.

Only the client is to attend the appointment – friends and family members must wait elsewhere.

Anyone feeling ill, having any signs of illness (such as sore throat, fever, cough etc.), having traveled outside the state, and/or having exposure to anyone that has tested positive for COVID within the past 14 days must cancel and reschedule for the safety of all.

Given continuing unknowns with the pandemic, seniors are encouraged to schedule appointments as soon they have received all their tax papers as there may come a time when services are postponed due to public health and safety concerns.

CCE Madison and the Tax Program Volunteers say they are committed to providing this important service. Should there be a need to stop or postpone in-person preparation, CCE Madison will work to establish other options to support free tax completion for seniors as was the case during the 2020 tax completion season. Check the CCE Madison County website and Facebook for updates to the program.

To best prepare for appointments, look at last year’s return to help you know what forms are needed this year, and then be sure to bring/wear:

  • Face covering worn correctly at all times
  • Last year’s tax return
  • Social Security Cards for anyone being claimed
  • Picture ID such as a driver’s license even if recently expired
  • Tax information forms such as W-2s and 1099s