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2/5/2016 - Tax Counselors Ready to Help Out This Tax Season - Appointments Available Through April 15

Somerset County Freeholder Brian D. Levine has announced that the county Office of Volunteer Services and AARP have again teamed up this year to provide free tax-counseling assistance to residents in preparing their federal and New Jersey income tax returns.

"As a CPA, I know the importance of providing quality tax preparation service to our residents," said Freeholder Levine, human services liaison. “This program helped more than 2,000 people last year. I encourage all eligible residents to take advantage of this free service.”

The volunteer program, Tax-Aide, is designed to help area residents prepare their tax returns. The program places specific emphasis on assisting seniors, residents with disabilities, and lower income residents, but is open to everybody.

About 70 tax-preparation volunteers provide direct support, working at six different sites within Somerset County – Montgomery, Raritan, Manville, Bridgewater, Franklin and Green Brook. These volunteers have many years of experience and receive annual training on the latest federal and state tax regulations to ensure returns are prepared accurately and take advantage of all credits and deductions available to the taxpayer. All tax-preparation volunteers are tested and certified by the IRS annually at the advanced level.

Tax returns are filed electronically, enabling taxpayers to obtain a more rapid refund if there is money coming back to them. Volunteers also can assist with preparing Property Tax Reimbursement (PTR) forms for homeowners 65 years or older who meet certain eligibility requirements.

In 2015, more than 2,000 taxpayers took advantage of this free service in Somerset County. If you’d like to take advantage again this year, or for the first time, call the Somerset County Office of Volunteer Services at 908-541-5710 for an appointment.

At your scheduled appointment, the tax counselor will review the tax documents you bring with you (W-2 forms, bank, broker and Social Security statements, medical and other expenses, a copy of your last year’s returns, etc.), prepare this year’s federal and New Jersey income tax returns, and file them electronically. No fuss, no muss, and most importantly, no cost to you!

The program runs through April 15 and is by appointment only.