Tax prep assistance offered

The AARP Tax-Aide program, administered by the AARP Foundation in cooperation with the IRS, provides free income tax assistance to low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those aged 60 or older.

Volunteers will assist in preparing basic federal and Oregon tax forms for personal tax returns. They can assist with most of your everyday tax situations; however, they cannot prepare Schedule C with expenses over $10,000, losses, or with employees; rentals; or returns requiring Forms 3903, 8606 and 8615.

Locations:

Hood River Valley Adult Center, 2010 Sterling Place; Thursdays 2-7 p.m.; Spanish and English

Hood River County Library, 502 State St.; Mondays, 2-7 p.m.; Spanish and English

If you have questions about what can and cannot be done, visit one of the Tax-Aide sites for advice. Tax returns are electronically filed as a free service by Tax-Aide.

Photo ID is required for the taxpayer(s) present and you must bring acceptable proof of Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number for every person on your tax return.

Acceptable proof is either:

n original or copies of SS or ITIN cards

n a Social Security statement (SSA 1099)

n a letter from the Social Security office verifying the name and SSN

n a letter from the IRS verifying the name and ITIN

You must bring all income report forms such as W-2’s, interest, dividend and miscellaneous income statements, Social Security and pension statements, broker’s statements, and other tax-related information such as information for itemized deductions.

It is highly recommended you have the previous year’s tax return.

Free assistance is available at the following locations through April 15. Sites will close at the hours shown. Tax returns will be started only if time permits completion before closing.

Taxpayers with complex tax returns will be advised to seek professional tax assistance.

If you are interested in being a Tax-Aide volunteer next year, contact the AARP at 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669) visit aarp.org/taxaide or the local website for Clark County at aarp-tax-aide-SW-Washington.org.

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Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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