More than 200 sites across Minnesota, including three in Douglas County, will be offering free tax assistance for those filing income tax and property tax refund returns.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and AARP Tax-Aide programs are two free tax preparation options where volunteers help Minnesotans prepare their federal and state returns. The Internal Revenue Service certifies volunteers from both programs to prepare basic tax returns, the Minnesota Department of Revenue said.

“Thousands of Minnesotans are eligible for free tax preparation services or free tax preparation software this tax season,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “These free services help make filing easier and can help you accurately and securely file your income tax return and claim any refund that you may be entitled to receive.”

To get help at a VITA site, you must be: age 60 or older; have a disability; speak limited or no English; or have an annual income of less than $56,000.

The lone VITA site in Douglas County is:

  • Alexandria Technical and Community College, 1601 Jefferson St., in the Business Tech building, room 703. It is open to walk-ins on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4-6 p.m., through April 9. The site is closed on March 10 and March 12 for spring break.

The AARP Tax-Aide program offers free tax preparation for all Minnesotans, particularly those age 50 or older, and does not have income restrictions.

There are two AARP Tax-Aide sites in Alexandria:

  • Alexandria Senior Center, 414 Hawthorne St., on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., through April 14, by appointment only by calling 320-762-2087.

  • First Congregation Church UCC, 221 7th Ave. W., on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., through April 15. By appointment only; call 800-492-4805.

Free electronic filing is also available for Minnesotans with an adjusted gross income of $69,000 or less. To see if you are eligible, visit www.revenue.state.mn.us/ and click on the free tax preparation help link.

Participants must bring certain items with, such as a photo ID, W-2 information, banking information for direct deposit, and other applicable items. A list of suggested items can be found on the Department of Revenue website.