SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Office of Volunteer Services and AARP have again teamed up to provide free tax-counseling assistance to residents in preparing their federal and New Jersey income tax returns.

"As a CPA, I know the importance of providing quality tax preparation service to our residents," said Somerset County Freeholder Brian D. Levine, human services liaison. “This program helped more than 2,000 people last year. I encourage all eligible residents to take advantage of this free service.”

The volunteer program, Tax-Aide, is designed to help area residents prepare their tax returns.  The program places specific emphasis on assisting seniors, residents with disabilities, and lower income residents, but is open to everybody.

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About 70 tax-preparation volunteers provide direct support, working at six different sites within Somerset County – Montgomery, Raritan, Manville, Bridgewater, Franklin and Green Brook.  These volunteers have many years of experience and receive annual training on the latest federal and state tax regulations to ensure returns are prepared accurately and take advantage of all credits and deductions available to the taxpayer.

All tax-preparation volunteers are tested and certified by the IRS annually at the advanced level. 

Tax returns are filed electronically, enabling taxpayers to obtain a more rapid refund if there is money coming back. Volunteers also can assist with preparing Property Tax Reimbursement (PTR) forms for homeowners 65 years or older who meet certain eligibility requirements.

Call the Somerset County Office of Volunteer Services at (908) 541-5710 for an appointment.

The tax counselor will review the tax documents  - W-2 forms, bank, broker and Social Security statements, medical and other expenses, a copy of last year’s returns - and will prepare this year’s federal and New Jersey income tax returns, and file them electronically at no cost. 

The program runs through April 15 and is by appointment only.