Tax pre­par­ers, helpers needed

Tri-City Herald (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Tax sea­son will be here soon. The AARP Foun­da­tion Tax-Aide Pro­gram pre­pares fed­eral in­come tax re­turns by IRS-cer­ti­fied vol­un­teers for low to mod­er­ate in­come tax­pay­ers for free. The pro­gram re­lies on vol­un­teers to staff the na­tion’s largest vol­un­teer tax prepa­ra­tion and as­sis­tance ser­vice. There are over 40 vol­un­teers cov­er­ing seven tax prepa­ra­tion sites in the Tri-Cities. The Tax-Aide pro­gram needs vol­un­teers to pre­pare tax re­turns, or­ga­nize tax­payer pa­per­work or act­ing as an in­ter­preter. AARP will pro­vide each vol­un­teer pre­parer with a lap­top while the IRS pro­vides the tax soft­ware along with writ­ten tax law ma­te­ri­als.

In ad­di­tion to the self­s­tudy train­ing, there is on-site train­ing on each Satur­day in Jan­uary prior to the start of the each tax sea­son to en­sure that vol­un­teer tax pre­par­ers are IRS-cer­ti­fied. Af­ter the train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, vol­un­teers will be as­signed to a tax prepa­ra­tion site or sites of their choice. All tax re­turns are pre­pared by one vol­un­teer and checked by a sec­ond vol­un­teer. You do not need to be a mem­ber of AARP or a se­nior cit­i­zen to vol­un­teer for this ac­tiv­ity.

If this sounds in­ter­est­ing, send an email to: wa1.dis­ and a cur­rent Tax-Aide vol­un­teer will con­tact you.

– Den­nis H. Van Houdt, Rich­land

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