Q&A: Grandma needs tax help

Dear Liz: My grandma is 78, divorced, and has not filed taxes in the last decade. I was wondering what she should do because she is head of the household and taking care of three adopted kids and needs help.

Answer: Please help connect your grandmother with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, which provides free virtual and in-person tax help. You may be able to help her make an appointment and gather the documents she’ll need to file those missing tax returns.

Your obviously busy grandma may have procrastinated on filing her taxes because she worried about a tax bill.

But depending on her income and circumstances, she may have been eligible for refundable credits or other tax breaks that could have put money back in her pocket. (The tax law provides a three-year window to claim a refund, so she would already have lost out on refunds from the earlier years.)

If she does owe taxes and penalties, the IRS has payment plans that could help. A Tax-Aide volunteer will explain her options for paying any overdue bills.