Arizona AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers have been diligently working with their Host Sites to provide tax return preparation services during the 2021 filing season. We are aware of the anxiety felt by all of you as you seek help to complete your tax returns.
As you know, the pandemic in Arizona is reaching historic levels and Tax-Aide, like most organizations, is working hard to limit the spread by restricting direct contact. We have developed tax preparation models that will allow us to serve you, while also achieving the goal of limited contact.
Please read the below information carefully as there are big changes in both HOW we will prepare your tax return and HOW we will communicate with you as well as WHERE you may be able to receive AARP Tax Aide services.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide continues to place the highest priority on the health and safety of both our volunteers and our taxpayers. We feel every plan works towards that goal.
Tax Aide Sites:
Not all Arizona Tax-Aide sites will open during the first week of February as normal. Recently the IRS delayed the commencement of the filing season to February 12th. While some locations may offer tax preparation services prior to February 12th, most sites will remain closed until that date. Some Arizona sites will not open this year. Some will delay opening until later in the filing season.
Please review the Arizona Sites Guide to taxpayer services for 2021 to see what may be available in your area.
Tax Preparation Changes:
Please read the currently approved tax preparation service plan summaries below. We understand that most of you desire to sit with a Tax-Aide certified Counselor during the preparation of your tax return, but it is not possible this year. ALL tax preparation will be done remotely by a Tax-Aide certified Counselor to provide safety for both yourself and our volunteers.
We are hopeful that the pandemic level will subside to a point where we can offer additional tax preparation plans including more In-Person contact, but we cannot offer that at the present time.
Approved Tax Preparation Summaries:
Tax Document Drop Off: The taxpayer obtains an appointment to visit an AARP Tax-Aide Drop Off location. A protected Tax-Aide volunteer will meet the taxpayer, who remains in their vehicle at a site. The taxpayer is provided a packet of forms and a tax envelope. After reading the documents and completing the forms, the taxpayer provides all tax documents (copies are preferred) to a certified Tax-Aide volunteer. The taxpayer leaves the site with a receipt for the documents and an appointment card, along with contact information to use during the tax preparation process.
Tax preparation is done remotely by certified Tax-Aide volunteers who maintain taxpayer documents in a secured location during the entire process. The tax return is completed and Quality Reviewed by a second certified Tax Aide volunteer. The tax return is printed and sent back to the original Tax Aide site.
The taxpayer returns to the site by appointment to obtain all the documents and the completed tax return. They review the tax return in their vehicle with a nearby certified Tax Aide volunteer. If acceptable, the 8879 e-File authorization is signed by the taxpayer and the return will be e-Filed.
Tax Document Scan: The taxpayer obtains an appointment to visit an AARP Tax-Aide Scan location. A protected Tax-Aide volunteer will meet the taxpayer and provide a packet of forms and a tax envelope. After reading the documents and completing the forms, the taxpayer provides all original tax documents for a scanning team to process. After the scanning is confirmed, the taxpayer leaves the site with all their documents and an appointment card, along with contact information to use during the tax preparation process. The scanned images will be stored in a secured Google Cloud account.
Tax preparation is done remotely by certified Tax-Aide volunteers who will use the secured scanned images to complete and Quality Review the tax return. The tax return is printed and sent back to the original Tax Aide site.
The taxpayer returns to the site by appointment to review the completed tax return with a nearby certified Tax Aide volunteer. If acceptable, the 8879 e-File authorization is signed by the taxpayer and the return is e-Filed.
Health & Safety Plan:
An extensive Health and Safety plan is required to be implemented at every Tax-Aide site. This plan impacts the interaction between Taxpayers and AARP Tax Aide Volunteers.
Taxpayers will be provided a COVID-19 Screening document to review. If any listed symptoms are present, the taxpayer will not be allowed to visit the Tax-Aide site. At the site, there are temperature scans, masks and social distance requirements that must be always followed. The length of contact between taxpayers and volunteers is strictly limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.
Each Tax-Aide site has strict sanitation procedures in place to protect site employees, Tax-Aide volunteers and taxpayers.
Appointments are REQUIRED to visit any Arizona Tax-Aide site. Due to the delay in the commencement of the tax filing season, the appointment scheduler program has been delayed until February 2nd. To make an appointment, please visit this website again after February 2nd for additional information and links to make appointments.
You may also visit the websites listed below for additional information about online tax preparation, site locations, and appointments: