I don't know about you, but math makes my head hurt. It's even worse when you're trying to do your own taxes. Which form do I use? If you're married is it better to file separately or jointly? What about all of the tax deductions? It's probably best to get some help from someone who understands all of the "ins and outs" of filing a tax return. It's even better when that person is volunteering to help you for free.

You could get your taxes done by one of the many fine professional tax preparers around the Cedar Valley, but sometimes, that can get a little expensive. Some people try to do their taxes on-line, but what if you don't fully know what you're doing, and you end up costing yourself money? Along with that, you end up asking yourself, "is this website reputable" and many times there is also hidden fees. Here's a great alternative that I found for getting your taxes done, and it's FREE.

After taking a year off, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Retired and Senior Volunteer Program" (RSVP) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) have brought back their FREE tax preparation service. You're probably thinking, "but I'm not old enough to utilize this". That assumption would be wrong. According the RSVP website they're partnering with the AARP to provide free tax assistance to the community (regardless of your age) through the Tax Aide program. Be rest assured, many of the volunteer counselors that I have met are retired tax preparers and/or have extensive knowledge of the tax system.

Due to safety precautions for the volunteers, their services will be provided remotely and appointments are needed to drop off and pick up your tax documents. For more information and to schedule your appointment click here.

But hurry, because drop off appointments are filling up quickly and (as of now) the earliest available dates are well into the month of March. Be aware, that the sites are open only on certain days and with limited hours.

Tax Preparation sites include:

  • First United Methodist Church (replaces Cedar Falls Community Center location)
    718 Clay Street entrance, Cedar Falls
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church (replaces Kimball Ridge location) 1301 Kimball Avenue, Back of church, South door, Waterloo
  • Salvation Army, 207 Logan Avenue entrance, Waterloo
  • Waverly Public Library, 1500 W Bremer Avenue

There is also a site at the Oelwein First Baptist Church, but the site shows that there are no appointments available as of now. You must wear a mask to each appointment, volunteers will work only with those wearing a mask. For more information, or to book an appointment by phone, call 319-334-1019.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]