Taxes. What can you say? People have been complaining about them since they were first established in Egypt around 3000 B.C. But without the income tax, we wouldn’t have critical services for millions of older adults: meal programs, senior housing, transportation, and particularly long–term and in–home care services (which can be expensive!) all of which help older adults live with dignity and as independently as possible. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society”.
But paying your income taxes can be complicated. Albert Einstein felt the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. And that was in the 1940s!
But there is help.
Many of you may use an accountant, but if your returns are not complicated there are several other options.
1) Software programs. There are several programs such as TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer which will guide you step by step and then file your tax return electronically. But they do cost.
2) Free help from the IRS. If your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, you can log on to the IRS.gov website and click on “File Your Taxes for Free”. There you’ll find “Free File” where you can complete and file your income tax return using many of the brand-name tax-preparation-and-filing software.
3) AARP Gorge Tax–Aide. Another free option. If you don’t feel comfortable going online, Gorge Tax–Aide, primarily for low–income and elderly, will complete and file your tax return electronically.
They will have five sites open beginning February 14: Hood River Public Library, Mondays 2 – 5 PM; Hood River Valley Adult Center, Thursdays 2 – 5 PM; Tygh Valley, Thursdays 9 – 12 PM; The Mid-Columbia Senior Center, Fridays 3 – 6 PM; White Salmon, Senior Services, Tuesdays 9 – 12 AM. Potentially additional times will be added.
All tax preparation will be by appointment only – no drop–ins. To request an appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org including your name and contact information and your preferred tax preparation site. Requests for specific times will be considered but are not guaranteed
At your appointment, you will drop off your tax information and meet briefly with a certified tax preparer. When your tax return is completed, you will be contacted to schedule a brief meeting to pick up a copy of your tax return and sign your consent form to allow Gorge Tax–Aide to file your return electronically.
As F. J. Raymond said, “Next to being shot at and missed, nothing is really quite as satisfying as an income tax refund.” So, this year try to file your taxes early and electronically to receive your tax refund as soon as possible.
During our lives we’ve all learned many and sometimes many painful lessons. In this month’s “Through the Eyes of An Elder” Bruce Bolme shares his life research and the lessons he has learned.
The 1958 novelty song “Beep, Beep” sung by the Playmates describes a Cadillac being passed at 120 mph by a Nash Rambler as the driver yells out, “Hey, buddy, how can I get this car out of second gear”. I received correct answers from Sam Bilyeu, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies, Lana Tepfer, Doug Nelson, Rebecca Adams, Barbara Miller, Gene Uczen, Rose Schulz, Donna Mollett, Diana Weston, Dave Lutgens, Keith and Marlene Clymer, and Linda Frizzell who is this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket.
Polarization and conflict are not new to American politics as was demonstrated during the 1960s and ’70s. This week’s “Remember When” question takes us back to those days. For two years the United States’ president and vice president were not elected by the people in a general election. Who was this U.S. President that served from August of 1974 through January of 1977? And for bonus points, who were the two politicians he replaced? Email your answer to email@example.com, call 541-296-4788, or mail it with a No. 48 football Jersey from the University of Michigan.
Well, it’s been another week, trying to find the energy to do what I “want” to do. Until we meet again, find the bright side in what you “need” to do.
“People who complain about taxes can be divided into two classes: men and women.” — Unknown