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Programs help with annual tax filing

Suzanne Hopkins-
H1N1 Flu Shot Clinic
    The Highland County Senior Citizens Center and Walgreens are sponsoring an H1N1 Vaccination Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. Ages 14 years and older are eligible.
    Medicare Part B and Ohio Medicaid will pay for the shots. If you do not have Medicare B or Medicaid the vaccine cost is $18. For questions, or to pre-register, please call Walgreens at 393-2307.
Tax season can be
a financial squeeze;
Various programs help older Ohioans file taxes at no cost
    April 15, Tax Day, will be here before we know it. For many, it can be confusing and overwhelming to prepare a tax return. Tax laws can be complicated and are constantly changing. How much to you have to earn before you must pay taxes? Do you have to pay taxes on your pension? What is the standard deduction for seniors? What, if any, taxes do you have to pay on your Social Security benefits? What do you have to do to receive the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled?
    Various programs offer trained community volunteers to help qualifying Ohioans with free tax return preparation. They even can help consumers receive special credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly. Most of these programs also offer free electronic filing (e-filing). People who file their returns electronically receive their refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper, and even sooner if they have them deposited directly into their bank accounts.
    The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) offers more than 4,650 trained counselors at sites in 87 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Counselors help prepare and file federal and Ohio income tax returns at no cost to eligible Ohioans. Free income tax assistance also is available through an online, self-service program. Ohioans can file their federal and select state tax returns through the Benefit Bank if their household income is $57,000 or less. People who use the Benefit Bank to file their tax return can receive their tax refunds in as few as seven to 10 days by e-filing their returns and using direct deposit.
    Ohio Benefit Bank counselors also can help Ohioans check their potential eligibility for benefits such as health care coverage, home energy assistance, child care subsidies and food stamps, and help them apply. To locate the nearest OBB site, call 1-800-648-1176.
    The AARP Tax-Aide program has trained and certified volunteers at approximately 350 sites throughout the state ready to help people of low to middle income, with special attention to those age 60 and older. Sites include libraries, community centers, senior housing complexes and senior centers. This year, the Tax-Aide program is piloting a new project in selected cities.
    Once again this year AARP Tax-Aides will be offering tax assistance at the Highland County Senior Center.  Appointments will be scheduled on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays beginning Feb. 4 and running through early April.  Although the service is open to anyone, priority will be given to low to moderate income seniors.  Call the center at 393-4745 to schedule your appointment.
    Call 1-800-829-1040 for information.[[In-content Ad]]

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