Tax Preparation Assistance in and Around Norwood

Kara Shea
The skinny on where to get help during tax season
Issue Date: 
February, 2018
Article Body: 

Christmas lights are being turned off, and trees have been thrown out on the curb. Champagne bottles have found their way into the trash, and that can only mean one thing- tax season is almost upon us. Beginning January 29 and ending April 17, the 2018 tax filing and returns are about to affect millions of Americans everywhere.
For Norwood, there are a few places that offer assistance. The Morrill Memorial Library for instance has received a limited amount of the state forms that include the Mass. Form 1-Resident, and the Mass. Form 1-NR/PY (non-resident or part-year resident). They have also ordered a few Federal forms, but none had arrived at press time. They even have links to the IRS website that contain all the forms needed, and offers users information on how they can order the forms to be delivered right to their doorstep. The Norwood Library website also has many links for electronic filing help, as well as places that offer filing assistance. One of these places being the Norwood Senior Center.
“The Norwood Senior Center works with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide,” Senior Center Executive Director Kerri McCarthy said.
This program offers free, individualized tax preparation for low-to moderate-income taxpayers- especially those 50 and older. These so called “tax volunteers” are trained taxpayers who serve in or near the communities that they live. AARP began offering this service in 1968, and according to McCarthy, in 2017 alone the preparers assisted “over 200 seniors." She explained how the program is extremely important for seniors because there is absolutely no charge for the service, and is effective because of the simplicity of the tax returns process. Starting January 16, the Norwood Senior Center began taking appointments for this program. Many seniors, however, may qualify for The Circuit Breaker Tax. According to “As a senior citizen, you may be eligible to claim a refundable credit on your personal state income tax return. The Circuit Breaker tax credit is based on the actual real estate taxes paid on the Massachusetts residential property you own or rent and occupy as your principal residence.”.This means, if the credit you’re owed exceeds the amount of the total tax payable for the year, you’ll be refunded the additional amount of the credit without interest. In 2017, the maximum credit amount was $1,080.
The IRS also has a program called Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) that offers free tax help for all taxpayers, but particularly those who are of age and older. They special in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues that are unique to seniors- and the volunteers are often retired individuals themselves. There is also The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, known as VITA. This program offers “free help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities or limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns”. Norwood has 24 VITA locations within a 25-mile radius of the town. For more information on VITA or to locate an assistance site, visit IRS, click on file, individuals, free tax return preparation for qualifying individuals.
Tax season is definitely a disruption on every American’s life; especially for those who struggle with the forms, so these next few months can be extremely frustrating. However, with all of this assistance that can be found right in the epicenter of Norwood, hopefully tax season can be less of a hassle this year.
To learn more about filing taxes, visit or