The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program will soon be taking appointments for the 2019 tax season.

The free program provides trained tax preparers to help seniors and low-income households fill out their basic federal and state income tax return forms.

Starting Jan. 29, appointments can be made by calling 651-480-7689. Appointments are required and will start Monday, Feb. 4, at the Tilden Community Center, 310 River St. Tax assistants will be available 3-6 p.m. on Mondays and 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. Appointments can be made through April 16.

The Tax-Aide program has offered tax services in Hastings for roughly 20 years.

What to bring to your appointment

It is important that you bring last year's tax return, a photo ID and Social Security cards for each individual on your return. If you wish to do a direct deposit, make sure to bring your checking or savings account information.

Bring W-2 forms for each employer, along with any forms for unemployment compensation. SSA-1099 for Social Security benefits and Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits forms should also be included. The last of income documents that should be brought include any statements reporting interest, dividends, proceeds from sales and pensions.

If you have a large amount of deductions and want to itemize, bring information regarding mortgage interest; medical, dental and vision expenses; contributions to charity; and property tax bills.

If applicable, bring 1098-T forms for education expenses plus a statement from the educational institution that shows tuition and fees actually paid and statements of student loan interest.

Information for taxpayers during shutdown

During the government shutdown, the IRS is open with limited operations.

During this time, the IRS recommends that returns be filed electronically for speed and accuracy, although both paper and electronic forms will be accepted. Refunds will be paid and the shutdown will not affect reviews for fraud and identity theft.

Services that will not be offered for the time being include walk-in taxpayer assistance centers; individual appointments about audits, collections, appeals or taxpayer advocate cases; mail correspondence; applications and determinations for tax-exempt status; enforcement activities; and passports.

Live telephone customer service assistance and mail correspondence will be limited during the shutdown. Individuals should be aware of longer wait times for phone calls and mail responses during this time.