Tax preparation service is offered at Darien Library
It’s that time of year again. As Darien gets pounded by storms, town budgets get finalized, and spring sports kick off, it’s hard to find time to actually sit and get those taxes done. Locally, the Darien Library is trying to help you out with that. A tax preparation service is being offered at the Darien Library on Fridays and Saturdays until April 14. This year the tax due date is Tuesday, April 17.
The program features IRS-certified AARP volunteer tax aides, many of whom are from Darien and neighboring towns, who will help with all aspects of filing your income tax. “We bring individuals who are certified by the IRS, they take lots of tests to get there, and they will do your income taxes for you,” said Sally Ijams, the head of Knowledge and Learning Services at the library.
“This is all possible thanks to the tax preparers who volunteer their time,” said Ijams. Many of the volunteers come back every year to give their time and knowledge to help people in the Darien community.
The service has been offered every year since 2011, and has grown substantially each year. In the first year, the volunteers helped file about 90 tax returns. This year, Ijams says, they could file about 10 times that. “When we started out in 2011, they filled out 91 returns, and we thought that was pretty good,” said Ijams, adding, “in 2016, the demand became so high that we went from one day a week to two days a week.”
“We’re on track now to submit over 800 returns this year,” Ijams said, who added that even some staff members at the library have availed themselves of the service.
The program is available to absolutely anyone; there are no income or age restrictions. The way returns are set up these days, “it’s not easy for the average person to do it on their own. We have people coming in not only to get their returns done, but people who want to do them on their own and have questions,” said Ijams.
Simply bring income tax related documents such as a W2, 1099, or brokerage information, along with the previous year’s return and a photo ID to the library, and the volunteers will take it from there. For many people, the process takes as little as 20 minutes.
“Sometimes the wait is longer than the actual filing, but it takes on average about 20 minutes to file a return,” Ijams said.
The service is available Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 2.
To find out more and for specifics about what to bring and what to expect, visit darienlibrary.org or call 203-669-5236.