Free Income Tax Help Offered at Downtown Santa Cruz, Aptos Libraries

Volunteers from Project SCOUT available to assist with taxes through April 15

MARCH 24, 2015—SANTA CRUZ, CA—The Santa Cruz Public Library System (SCPL), a network of 10 neighborhood library branches throughout Santa Cruz County, today announced free income tax assistance will be available at two library branches through Tax Day, April 15.

The service is provided by Project SCOUT, a program of the nonprofit Seniors Council, to help seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families in Santa Cruz County prepare their tax returns. Project SCOUT volunteers provided 704 hours of volunteer tax assistance from July 2013 to June 2014, the most recent year data is available. Volunteers helped seniors reclaim more than $1.8 million in tax refunds that year.

The Santa Cruz Public Library System facilitates this free tax help as a community service.

“As community centers, the Santa Cruz Public Libraries are pleased to provide space and opportunity for residents to get the tax help they need,” said Janis O’Driscoll, SCPL Programs & Partnerships Division Manager.

Project SCOUT’s Internal Revenue Service-trained volunteers are available for in-person help at no charge at the Aptos Branch Library and the Downtown Santa Cruz Branch Library.
Aptos Branch Library, 7695 Soquel Drive in Aptos, 1-3 p.m. Thursdays (March 26, April 2 & 9)
Downtown Branch Library, 224 Church Street in Santa Cruz, 3-6 p.m. Tuesdays (March 31, April 7 & 14); 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays (March 28, April 4 & 11); and 3-6 p.m. on Tax Day (Wednesday, April 15)

The tax preparation assistance is offered on a drop-in basis. Please bring a photo ID, Social Security cards or ITIN for each person on your tax return; W-2, 1099, 1098 forms for all jobs held in 2014; and child care costs for 2014 and provider info. A voided check for direct deposit and last year’s tax form are helpful, but are not required.

Project SCOUT (Senior Citizen Outreach) began its operations in 1968 as a private non-profit organization. The organization is open to the public year-round. A corps of local volunteers is trained by Internal Revenue Service and Franchise Tax Board personnel to assist senior, blind, disabled and low income persons to prepare their tax returns. For disabled individuals unable to get to the tax sites, trained volunteers are available to do in-home tax preparation. Help also is available on an appointment basis after the tax season is over for people who did not file during the tax season. Anyone over the age of 60, individuals with a disability and low-income residents is eligible to receive SCOUT’s assistance programs. For more information about Project SCOUT, call their Watsonville office at 831-724-2606 or toll-free at 1-877-373-8297, or visit their website at

The Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) system delivers information, education, enrichment and inspiration through a network of 10 neighborhood library branches, a web-based digital library, a Bookmobile and community-based programs. SCPL serves children, teens and adults with innovative programming, professional services and community facilities that spark imagination and support discovery. Residents can explore a wide range of interests from academic research, book clubs and literacy programs to digital photography, locally-produced music and local history. Branch locations include Aptos, Boulder Creek, Branciforte, Capitola, Downtown Santa Cruz, Felton, Garfield Park, La Selva Beach, Live Oak and Scotts Valley. Learn more about SCPL at or via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.

Jennifer Squires
[email protected]