DEAR SUN SPOTS: You have had a few requests regarding AARP’s Free Tax Preparation Program (Sun Spots, Feb. 17). We are hoping to open in some format in early March.  Our volunteers have completed their training and have passed their IRS Certification Tests.  However, all of our volunteers and most of our clientele are in the COVID-19 high-risk category. Getting taxes done is important, but not worth anyone getting sick to do so.

We will not be able to accommodate all of the 2000+ people we have in the past, and strongly suggest people find another way to get their taxes done if they are able to do so.

There is a voice mail message on our phone line — 207-513-3170 — that will keep people up to date on our status. In the meantime, people should get their documents organized including copies of their 2019 returns so that when we are able to book appointments everyone will be ready to go. Thank you for your help getting the word out.—No name, no town

ANSWER: The Feb. 17 Sun Spots included information about tax filing help and I will be putting this in the column a few times to make sure everyone interested sees it.

You can go to AARP’s web site — https://taxaide.aarpfoundation.org/ — and get virtual help. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides tax assistance to anyone free of charge with a special focus on taxpayers who are over 50 or have low to moderate income.

Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year to make sure they know and understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code. There is an online form to request assistance or you can send an email to [email protected]. On the web site, it says someone will get back to you within five business days.

If your income was less than $57,000 this year, you may want to consider having CA$H Maine help you with your taxes. For more information or to fill out the questionnaire to schedule an appointment, go to cashmaine.org.

A volunteer will call to schedule a Scan & Go appointment where you will drop off your documents at the designated location and have them scanned. Your taxes will then be completed virtually by an IRS tax law certified volunteer.

CDC guidelines will be adhered to at the scanning location, and everyone must wear a face mask to enter.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In response to the question of what people are reading this season, I would like to suggest that if you have not read anything by Leila Meacham, you might enjoy her books. I really enjoyed “Somerset,” “Roses, Tumbleweeds” and “Titans and Dragonfly.”

Since “Somerset” is a prequel to “Roses,” I suggest you read that one first. I have read a few more of her books and would like to find even more.—Gloria, no town

ANSWER: This answer goes back to the Jan. 20 Sun Spots regarding reading recommendations. “Ryan’s Hand,” “Aly’s House” and “Crowning Design” are other books by the prolific historical romance author Meacham, a feisty Texan in her 80s who is battling pancreatic cancer.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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