Free tax help is available to residents throughout Livingston County who qualify.

The Accounting Aid Society offers preparation and filing of federal, state and city income taxes for free, along with various credits. Amended returns can also be done, along with tax returns for three years prior if someone didn’t file. To qualify, both taxable and non-taxable household income must be less than $54,000. There is no age limitation.

John Dillon is a longtime volunteer and site coordinator for the three Livingston County locations: the Brighton Senior Center, the Howell Carnegie District Library and the Brighton District Library, which is new this year. Dillon says the need for the service is definitely there, as they did about 100 more returns last year than in prior years.

Dillon says preparers are well trained and there is a pretty detailed process to make sure clients get the best benefit possible on their tax returns, including various credits. There is also a quality review process. He says all tax preparers volunteer their time and are re-certified every year, noting everything is very secure and all of the returns are doubled checked for accuracy. No returns will be E-filed or given to client without being reviewed by a second individual, which Dillon says takes little bit of time but ensures accuracy. He tells WHMI new security measures were also implemented by the IRS this year.

This year’s tax filing deadline is April 17th, due to a national holiday. Dillon cautions that appointments fill up very fast and photo ID is required. He says most all clients E-file but they will also paper file if needed. A list of sites, times and other information is attached. Meanwhile, Dillon says volunteers to prepare returns are also always being sought through the Accounting Aid Society and training is provided. (JM)