Options exist for free tax preparation for young and old

MAHUBE-OTWA’s VITA Program volunteers provide free tax return preparation assistance for those households making $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English speaking taxpayers.

Special consideration is given to those over 60 years old or older. They are not able to process returns beyond their scope such as: business tax returns, farm income, or returns including depreciation and rental properties.

This program is made possible through funding from the IRS, MN Department of Revenue, and the United Way of Becker County.

For more information, visit their Tax Assistance Page or call 218-396-0071 or email FreeTaxPrep@mahube.org.

Wadena- VITA

In Wadena, call (218) 632-3600 Monday through Friday to set up a virtual meeting with a VITA volunteer. You can generally get help at a VITA site if any of the following are true:

  • You are age 60 or older.

  • You are a person with a disability.

  • You speak limited or no English.

  • Your annual income is less than $57,000.

Things will look a little different this year due to the current pandemic. For the 2021 tax season, because MAHUBE-OTWA’S offices are closed to the public, the appointments scheduled are for 15 minutes or less to briefly meet with a tax volunteer to validate the client’s identification and drop off all relevant forms and documents. A second appointment will be needed to sign your return and pick up your tax packet.

Staples- AARP

For those looking for an in person option through AARP Tax-Aide, you can visit Staples Community Center Wednesday from 1-4 p.m. or Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call ahead at 218-296-2159. This site is open through April 15.

AARP Tax-Aide sites do not have income or age restrictions. All sites only prepare basic returns. Please see a professional preparer for assistance with complicated returns.

Here’s what you need to bring:

  • Social Security cards for ALL persons claimed on the tax return
  • Photo ID for taxpayer AND spouse
  • Documentation of your 2020 income (W-2 and 1099 forms)
  • Copy of last year’s federal tax return, if possible
  • To set up direct deposit, if desired, please bring a cancelled check or your bank routing and account information
  • Property tax statement or Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) for property tax refund

The Minnesota Department of Revenue also lists tax filing software that provides free online tax filing based on certain qualifications. Visit https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/free-electronic-filing for more information.

Minnesota residents filing an individual income tax return will now have until May 17 to file without penalty or interest.

Gov. Tim Walz said via news release the move would provide “timely relief” to residents. “As we work to get through the COVID-19 pandemic together, my administration will do everything we can to ease the burden on Minnesotans,” Walz continued.

The grace period does not include individual estimated tax payments, however.

Though the deadline has been extended, Minnesotans can still file in advance of May 17. “As Minnesota continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will again provide a grace period for filing and paying 2020 individual income taxes,” Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty commented via news release. “The sooner a return is filed, the sooner the department can review and process the return.”

Up-to-date information on Minnesota state taxes can be found by visiting revenue.state.mn.us.