State and federal income tax returns are due in less than four weeks, and appointments for free help through the AARP Foundation are filling up quickly.

Appointments are set up from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays at the North Independence branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library, 317 West U.S. 24, says volunteer Judy Austin of Independence.

The help is geared toward those with low to moderate incomes – preferably but not necessarily seniors – and fairly straightforward returns.

“We are only trained to do simple returns,” Turner said.

At North Independence, as many as six volunteers a day help with taxes, plus those who greet and check in taxpayers. To make an appointment, call the library at 816-252-0950 or, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., call 659-9085.

Appointments at Vesper Hall in Blue Springs and at Mid-Continent’s Colbern Road branch are full. Appointments are still available at the Lee’s Summit branch at 150 N.W. Oldham Parkway.

“There’s room for about 20 people,” said district coordinator Wendell Shaffer.

Those calling to make an appointment will be reminded to bring several things: a photo ID, last year’s returns, Social Security number, any 1099 forms.

One aim of the program is to help people to pay no more in taxes than they have to and to help them see their bigger financial picture, Turner said.

“We’re not CPAs. We’re trained volunteers,” she said.

The program relies on the efforts of those who give their time.

“We have people who are volunteering who have done this for 20 years,” Turner said.

Although it’s too late to get trained to be a volunteer for this tax season, there’s always next year.

“Any volunteer is welcome to call,” Turner said.