OXFORD HILLS — Residents around Oxford Hills who have used AARP’s free income tax preparation service will have to make other arrangements for filing their 2020 income tax return.

AARP’s Western Maine Coordinator Susan Martin said that the organization was unable to secure enough volunteers who were able to train, certify and work in a public setting.

“Everything is a moving target,” Martin said in an email statement. “We are in the process of figuring out if Auburn and Bridgton [sites] can open. No one is taking appointments yet. There is a good chance nothing will be available.”

Martin added that any sites that can open will  have to practice safety procedures and social distancing, which means that they will not be able to handle the volume that they have done in the past. She is not aware of any free sites that have started accepting appointments for the service.

In Franklin County, the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area and the Western Maine CA$H Coalition have teamed up to fill void in that region.

Joleen Bedard, executive director for the United Way of Androscoggin County said that residents of northern Oxford can utilize the service provided by the Franklin County initiative. Others will be able to make appointments at the United Way’s Lewiston site.

Martin confirmed that Oxford Hills residents may use the United Way’s online service at to file simple returns, but that there could be charges of $40 or more for using Schedule C (self-employment), D (capital gains and dividend over $400), or E (rentals).

People can also file directly through the Internal Revenue Service’s website at Martin said there are a number of filing options available but that it is important to read the age and income requirements before starting their return.

“A caution, when dealing with commercial tax preparers,” Martin advised. “People should be sure that if the filing is advertised as free, they understand all the additional costs. For example, some preparers offer free filing for federal taxes but then charge to file state tax [returns].”

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