Free tax help offered in Whatcom County

Free tax preparation is being offered at various Whatcom County locations through mid-April.

The AARP Tax-Aide program offers help to all ages and incomes. Those not eligible for the help are people with farm income, rental property, complicated capital gains, returns with more than $25,000 in business expenses or otherwise complicated returns. Volunteers on site will confirm eligibility.

Assistance is offered first come, first served at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave., from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday except for Presidents Day.

The service also is available by appointment at the Ferndale and Blaine senior centers and the Lynden and Ferndale libraries. Specific dates and sign-up lists are posted at these sites. Dates for assistance at the Bellingham senior center are being worked out; check with the center for updates.

People should bring all applicable W-2 and 1099 forms, any other pertinent tax information, a copy of last year's return, social security cards, and a government-issued picture ID for the main taxpayer and spouse. Those who purchased health insurance through the Washington Health Plan Finder will need to bring their 1095-A, which is being mailed to those affected.

Last year Tax-Aide helped more than 2,000 families in Whatcom County.