With the April 15 income-tax-return deadline looming, free preparation help is still available to low- and moderate-income taxpayers in the Tucson area.

Mailing your return

The recent closure of Tucson's outbound U.S. Postal Service distribution center won't prevent last-minute tax filers from getting that important April 15 postmark.

All mail deposited in collection boxes on April 15 before the last collection time (listed on mailbox), as well as all mail dropped off at the main post office at 1501 S. Cherrybell Stravenue by midnight, will be postmarked that day, Postal Service spokesman Robert Soler said.

Not long ago, taxpayers would line up at the Cherrybell station to drop their returns off before midnight on tax-filing deadline day.

But with the rise of electronic filing, Soler said, such lines have dwindled, and the Postal Service no longer needs to have extra staff curbside to handle the crush of returns.

The mailboxes in front of the main post office will be emptied for the last time on April 15 at midnight.

Finding help

• Personal help is available through April 15 at IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) sites, which offer free preparation assistance and electronic filing to individuals earning less than $25,000 and families earning less than $51,000.

The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and Catholic Community Services are partners for local VITA sites.

To find local VITA sites and hours, see www.unitedwaytucson.org/vita

• Some sites are offering extended hours leading up to and in some cases including April 15. Catholic Community Services' Pio Decimo Center, 848 S. Seventh Ave., is extending its hours on Monday, April 8, and Wednesday, April 10, to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesday, April 9, Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Monday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• AARP also offers free tax help to lower-income seniors and others. To find an AARP Tax Aide site, see tinyurl.com/4vozbfp

Options include two computer kiosks with tax-return software and free electronic filing.

• Taxpayers seeking help are advised to bring all pertinent documents, including original Social Security cards, W-2 forms, Form 1099 income forms and any records supporting deductions or credits; and prior-year tax returns.


• Taxpayers with income of $57,000 or less can use the Free File tax preparation software at www.IRS.gov/freefile

Free File is a project of the Free File Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of tax software firms.