Is it taxable?

After preparing my own taxes annually for over 40 years, I’m about to have someone else do them for me for the first time.

This is not without concerns, of course, but the people who volunteer to prepare taxes at the senior center are trained. They’re part of the AARP income tax assistance program, which means they’re IRS-certified and therefore will know about any recent changes to tax law ... which will be handy at this point.

As of this writing, the IRS is telling people to hold off sending in their tax returns for 2022. The reason: So many states handed out so many types of money during the pandemic that the IRS isn’t sure yet what is and isn’t taxable. For example, checks designated as “rebates” might or might not be taxable. A Covid disaster emergency relief check is not. However, in some cases, the issue is complicated by whether you do or do not itemize. People in at least 22 states are caught in this dilemma.

If you haven’t done your taxes yet and want help, or if you want to make a note for next year, do an online search for “AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Locator.” Once on the site, scroll down and enter your ZIP code or town in the search field to find the locations near you.

Be sure to ask about the forms you’ll need to pick up and fill out before your appointment, and whether you’ll be going inside or waiting in the parking lot.

The other good news is that this AARP service is free. For me it means I don’t need to spend $50 once again to buy the computer software and do it myself and hope I haven’t made an error somewhere ... perhaps with guessing wrong about whether that state check I received is or isn’t taxable.

(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.