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Free tax assistance is offered to seniors and low-income people from Madras and Warm Springs.

Beginning Feb. 1, and continuing through April 17, the American Association of Retired Persons Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program.

Locally, AARP tax help will be offered in Warm Springs by the Community Action Team at 1136 Paiute Ave. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Feb. 1 to April 17. For an appointment, call 541-553-3148.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, celebrating its 50th year, is the nation's largest free tax assistance and preparation service. Since its inception, the program has served more than 50 million taxpayers. Today, nearly 35,000 volunteers serve low- to moderate-income taxpayers at 5,000 locations in neighborhood libraries, malls, banks, community centers and senior centers nationwide.

There's no fee, no age requirement, and AARP membership is not required. "Getting help through Tax-Aide is not limited to older adults," said AARP Oregon Communications Director Joyce De Monnin. "We welcome older adults, families and even college students," she said, if they are low- to moderate-income. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they know about and understand the latest changes to the U.S. Tax Code. In 2017, the program's volunteers helped 2.5 million people navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions, and file their federal and state tax returns.

Taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received $1.37 billion in income tax refunds and more than $222 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. They also avoided any tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.

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