PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Nobody likes to pay taxes and most people hate to pay money just so someone else can fill out your tax return.

However, there is help available and it is free of charge.

“I’ve been here three years in a row now because I don’t know what to do with my own taxes,” Vanessa Kettering said.

Kettering said the AARP has really helped her over the years.

“Last year there was something if you work you got a certain tax break. I would never have known that on my own. That’s another reason I come here,” Kettering said.

Kettering uses a free tax preparation service at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill that is offered by the AARP for anyone who makes less than $50,000 or any senior 65 and over.

“We expect to be able to serve about [1,300 to 1,400] people with free tax preparation,” Steve Cohen said.

This isn’t the only free tax preparation service as Just Harvest, along with United Way also offer help to low-income singles and families.

“It’s helpful. It doesn’t charge me to do it, so it’s helping me a lot,” Alicia Hale said.

Hale is a first-time user, while Christina Kautchick is a regular who likes the professional treatment.

“Sometimes I get money back. They actually always find some little extra expenses I tend to forget to bring,” Kautchick said.

Just Harvest said the goal is to get refunds for taxpayers like the earned income tax credit.

“The earned income tax credit is the nation’s largest anti-poverty program. It moves people out of poverty more than any other federal program,” Kristie Weiland from Just Harvest said.

While there’s a lot of free downloadable software online, too, watch out for gimmicks that try to charge you for a quote and better service.

That software won’t always catch deductions you should take as well.


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