AARP Foundation, looking ahead to the upcoming tax season, is recruiting volunteers for its Tax-Aide program that offers free tax-filing help for adults 50 and older.
Tax-Aide workers receive training and continued support for a variety of roles at every level of experience. Volunteer tax preparers complete tax preparation training and IRS certification prior to working with taxpayers. There is also a need for grass roots leadership, on-site greeters, technical assistance and interpreters.
Last year, 1,000 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers in Washington helped more than 82,0000 people file their federal and state tax returns, according to a foundation spokesman. The program, offered in coordination with the IRS, is available at approximately 150 sites in Washington, including senior centers and libraries.
â€œMany older, low-income taxpayers miss out on the credits and deductions theyâ€™ve earned because they canâ€™t afford to pay for professional tax preparation,â€ said Bob Grayson, state coordinator for Tax-Aide.Â â€œOur volunteers are not only helping their neighbors, but also learning new skills and giving their mind a workout, as well.â€
Information about volunteering is available at www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide and 1-888-687-2277.
Since its inaugural team of just four volunteers in 1968, the program has grown to involve nearly 35,000 volunteers and serves 2.7 million taxpayers annually at more than 5,000 sites nationwide, making it the countryâ€™s largest such program run by volunteers. Taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received $1.4 billion in income tax refunds and more than $240 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). Taxpayers donâ€™t need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use the program.