Taxpayer Information

Site Schedules

Our site schedules are posted above.

Tax Prep Options

Hawaii Tax-Aide sites may offer services using either the in-person or same-day drop-off methods or a combination of both.

In-person sites will prepare your return in your presence (face to face). You will leave with a completed tax return that will be e-filed within 24  hours of completion.

Same-day drop-off sites will prepare your return while you wait outside of the tax preparation room — perhaps in your car, perhaps in a separate room.  You will leave with a completed tax return that will be e-filed within 24  hours of completion.

Sites may offer walk-in service (first-come, first-served) or may require that you call ahead for an appointment.  Check our site schedule for information.

What To Expect When You Arrive

You should ensure you have all the necessary tax documents before making an appointment or coming to a walk-in site.  For those with appointments, you should obtain and complete a packet before coming in for your interview.  If unable to obtain a packet in advance, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete the intake forms.  All your tax information must be presented to us on paper. Unfortunately, we cannot take tax information from your phone.

We can help with most, but not all tax returns, so be sure to read the list of items on the scope page that we cannot help with.

How Your Tax Return Will Be Prepared

A client facilitator or counselor will review your intake forms for completeness and to ensure you have the required documentation:  government-issued photo IDs, Social Security cards, ITIN letters, and banking information (if you want direct deposit or debit).  You may then be asked to wait until a counselor is available to conduct an intake interview.

A counselor will review all your documents and conduct an intake interview to verify that your return is within our scope of service and that you have the appropriate supporting documents to prepare your return.   After the intake interview,  if the site is using the same day drop-off method, you will be asked to wait on-site in another room or in your vehicle until the return is completed.   The counselor may need to ask follow-up questions during return preparation, so please answer your cell phone or remain where you were told to wait.

Once your return is completed, another volunteer will review your return with you to ensure you understand it.  You (and your spouse, if this is a joint return) must sign Form 8879 to accept responsibility for the return and to allow us to e-file it.  You will receive the original Form 8879 with your signature, a copy of your tax return, and all of your tax documents prior to leaving the site.

What We Need From You

All taxpayers must complete the Intake and Interview sheet (Form 13614-C).  This sheet is available at the site, but you can look at the form posted below for a preview of the information required.  Additional local worksheets may be required depending on the types of income or expenses to be included on your return.  You must bring all tax-related forms you received for the tax year, such as Forms W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, 1099-B, 1098, 1098-T, 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC, 1099-K, W-2G, 1099-G, Schedule K-1, 1095-A, etc.  Please bring PAPER COPIES of these forms.

Looking for Tax Forms?

If you want to prepare your own returns or just want to look at original forms and instructions, see the following:


Filing a paper state return only

If you are not required to file a federal tax return, and just want to file a state return to claim refundable credits you can file a paper N-11 return.   If claiming the Refundable Food/Excise Tax Credit, you will also need Form N-311, and if claiming the Low Income Renter Credit, you will need Schedule X. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I phone someone to be sure a site is open today?
Please do not call any of the sites unless a phone number is shown on our site list.  Site closures are normally scheduled in advance and shown on these lists.  Sites will be open as scheduled except under emergency circumstances. 

Who is eligible for services at an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site?
Almost anyone can receive free assistance, though we focus on older adults with low and moderate incomes.

Do I have to be a member of AARP?
AARP membership is not required.  Tax-Aide is a free community service provided through the auspices of the AARP Foundation and the IRS.

May I make an appointment?
Some sites accept or require appointments, but most serve taxpayers on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific site policies are stated on our Oahu and Neighbor Island site schedules posted above.

Is it really free – even e-filed returns?
Yes, there is no charge for our services and tips and gratuities cannot be accepted. 

What if the Tax-Aide counselor makes an error on my return?
We do our best to avoid errors in the first place by having a second counselor quality review the returns before they are released to the taxpayer.  When mistakes do happen, we will assist taxpayers in correcting the errors but we are not responsible for penalties or interest arising from such errors.  The taxpayer is responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the return and should ensure that he/she reviews the return with the preparer before leaving the site.

Do both spouses need to be present?
We prefer that both spouses be present during the preparation of a joint return since each spouse is legally responsible for its content.  If one spouse is not available, the other spouse can come in alone to have the return prepared, but must obtain the other spouse’s signature on Form 8879 and return the form to the site before the return can be e-filed. 

What do I need to bring?
See our Document Checklist document.

What forms can be prepared?
Please see our current In Scope Services. We have limited ability to complete certain sections of Form 5405 (First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of Credit), Form 5695 (Energy Credits), and Form 8606 (Non-deductible IRA).  Note that we cannot prepare returns for taxpayers seeking to claim credits for installing solar water heating systems or photovoltaic, geothermal, or wind power generating systems, as these are outside the scope of our volunteer training.

What forms will NOT be prepared?
Please see our current In Scope Services. Also, any other forms or schedules not listed as “can prepare” are out of scope.

How about information from a K-1?
We can handle simple K-1’s that contain only royalties, interest and dividends and moderate capital gains.  K-1’s with any other entries are out of scope.

Are state returns prepared?
We only prepare Hawaii state returns for full-year residents filing Form N-11.  Form N-15 for part-year or non-residents is outside the scope of our volunteer training.  We can prepare state returns to claim refundable credits even if no federal return is required.

How about General Excise Tax Returns?
No, our volunteers are not trained to prepare that type return.

If I arrive before closing time, will my return be completed?
New returns are generally not started during the last hour listed for the site, to enable our volunteers to clear the site and return it to the use of our generous sponsors. Upon arrival, the client facilitator will advise persons of the likelihood of being served that day. Taxpayers may be referred to another site and/or advised to return on a different day if it appears service cannot be provided that day. Note that in February (our busiest month), it is possible for client intake to be cut off very early in the session due to the volume of taxpayers seeking assistance.  We also generally will not amend any tax returns or prepare prior year returns during the month of February due to client volume.

Does the taxpayer need to complete any forms?
Yes, each taxpayer is required to complete the “IRS Form 13614-C Intake/Interview & Quality Review Sheet” and a Hawaii Supplemental Intake Sheet before the return can be started – this form is provided at the site.  Assistance is available from the client facilitator and counselor.  Depending on their specific circumstances, taxpayers may also be asked to complete additional worksheets for itemized deductions, business income and expenses, education credits, etc.

Are the counselors competent and well-trained?
Yes.  All of our counselors are required to attend training classes and pass an IRS certification test annually. 

Are there other centers offering free preparation service?
Yes, VITA partners provide services to lower income taxpayers.  To locate a VITA site near you, call 1-800-906-9887.  IRS Offices no longer provide direct assistance in preparing returns, but can refer you to volunteer partners who may be able to assist you.

I misplaced or lost my copy of my tax return.  Can Tax-Aide give me another copy?
Unfortunately, due to cost and time considerations, we are unable to do this.  You can obtain a copy of your complete tax return for a fee or obtain a transcript at no cost from the IRS.  See IRS Tax Topic 156 for information on how to obtain these.

How long does it take to get my refund?
With direct deposit, e-filed returns usually result in federal refunds within 10 to 21 days and state refunds within 10 to 20 days.  Requesting a paper check instead of direct deposit usually adds 7 to 10 days to these time frames.  Filing by paper adds a minimum of 7 days to your refund processing, and may add much more, particularly if you file near the April deadline.  To check the status of your refunds:

  • Federal: Click here to access the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool or call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
  • Hawaii:  Click here to access the Hawaii refund locator page or call the state Department of Taxation at 808-587-4242 or 1-800-222-3229 (outside Oahu).