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Free Senior Income Tax Preparation

The IRS, AARP and SCCV Senior Center bring a timely service.

Posted: March 3, 2008 9:11 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Jim Ozasky, right, helps Ben Placek organize his income tax forms at the SCV Senior Center on Feb. 21.

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Jim Ozasky would like to remind local seniors - and anyone else - that, to receive your tax rebate from the economic stimulus plan, you must file a 2007 federal income tax return. Even for people who don't usually need to file, this can mean an extra $300 coming in. For those who normally need to file, it can be significantly more.

Just in time - well, actually, they do it every year - the SCV Senior Center is hosting free income tax filing sessions every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon through April 10. At the sessions, IRS/AARP -trained volunteers are available to help seniors complete and electronically file income tax returns. Priority is given to low- and middle-income seniors. Low-income families will be considered if space is available.

Appointments are required. They can be made by calling Elaine at the SCV Senior Center, at (661) 259-9444. You must have with you at the appointment your ID (drivers license), Social Security card or similar, last year's tax return, if available, and your 2007 tax information.

Ozasky is one of the trained volunteers at the income tax sessions, and, on a recent Thursday, he offered his thoughts. He explained that the tax assistance service is an AARP program, sponsored by the IRS and hosted by the Senior Center. The IRS even loans the laptop computers used during the sessions.

"It kind of runs itself," he said of the program - though he helps those doing their taxes when they have problems or questions, and he does the actual e-filing when they are finished.

He added that he has a lot of help. Dee Lewis has been involved with the program for a long time, and Linda Kory is also one of the volunteers.

In addition to the sessions at the Senior Center, Ozasky said there would probably be some satellite sessions in March at other locations such as the Bouquet Canyon Senior Apartments and the Castaic Senior Apartments.

At any of these locations, the free tax service is invaluable to seniors who may have trouble doing their taxes on their own, and may find it difficult to get to private outside preparers.

Ken Placek said this was his third year using the tax service at the Senior Center, and that he's very grateful for it.

"It helps a lot. They find things I wouldn't, and, of course, the price is right," he said.

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