Vermont seniors should be careful when using a free tax filing service


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Whether one wants help with state or federal income taxes, there are clinics that offer free advice and assistance in filing taxes this year. 

On Feb. 6, the Brattleboro Reformer publication announced the availability of sessions with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program throughout the area. There are five locations in the Brattleboro area where residents can get help from Tax-Aide, particularly if they are 60 years of age or older, or have low- to moderate-income levels.  

Those locations include:

  • Martin Memorial Hall, 5259 Route 5, Ascutney. Tuesdays. Call 802-885-3933 to get on the list.
  • Bellows Falls Area Senior Center, 18 Tuttle St., Mondays and Thursdays. Call 802-463-3907.
  • Chester American Legion Post 67, 637 Route 103. On Mondays. Do not call the Legion. Instead, call 802-824-3016.
  • Neighborhood Connections, 5700 Route 100. Tuesdays. Call 802-824-4343.
  • Springfield Senior Center, 139 Main Street. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Call 802-885-3933 and specify the Senior Center to get on the list.
While free help with your taxes may sound like a win-win for everyone, there are organizations that want people to know a little bit more about how the information is collected.

On Feb. 10, the 60 Plus Association, a nonpartisan organization, pointed out potential problems with the Tax-Aide program, and particularly how AARP and the AARP Foundation might use the information provided during tax filing consultations.  

“There are some very serious red flags regarding the AARP’s tax program, and America’s seniors should be extremely cautious when considering whether or not to participate,” James Martin, founder and chairman of the American Association of Senior Citizens, told Vermont Business Daily. "Volunteers within the program itself have raised significant data and privacy concerns and seniors should be aware of these issues as they make decisions regarding their tax filings."

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