The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is offered free tax-preparation assistance again this year in Mercer County.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a delay in the start of the filing season, the service will be a bit different.

There will be limitations to locations and in-person interactions for the local volunteer program, which runs March 1 through April 15.

Taxpayers will be directed to make several short visits to one of two sites to exchange information and documents.

This year’s site are: Hickory VFW Post 6166, 5550 E. State St., Hermitage; and James Stoner VFW Post 6233, 3747 New Castle Road, West Middlesex.

All taxpayer documents, including 2019 returns, will be scanned and returned during an in-person interview.

Volunteers will prepare returns using those documents, and taxpayers will be called with questions and to arrange a pickup of their completed returns.

All visits must be scheduled in advance, and taxpayers must wear face masks during each visit.

For more information, call 211 starting Feb. 15.

This program is for lower-income taxpayers of all ages with an emphasis on those 50 and older. An AARP membership is not required.

The Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and certified annually by the IRS, and the returns are prepared free of charge.

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