The American Association of Retired Persons Foundation Tax-Aide program offers free tax preparation for low- to middle-income families, especially those ages 60 and older.There are more than 6,000 locations nationwide.Volunteers began training on the new laws in January so they could be certified to prepare taxes beginning Feb. 1. Assistance is available at the Cabarrus County Senior Center, 8:30 a.m.-noon, each Monday and Wednesday until April 15. Volunteer Bill Ford has been helping for 22 years and enjoys interacting with the people. He acts as a facilitator by helping taxpayers get their paperwork organized for the preparers who will help them file their taxes. Frances Parnell, who has been using the service for seven years, said she keeps coming back because, “It’s fun. The people here are so nice, and I made a new friend today.”Fun seems to be a part of the service for the volunteers, as well.Ed Buckner, who has been volunteering for nine years, said he enjoys seeing all the people; but he also enjoys the challenge of doing the taxes.Joyce Starnes had paid preparers to do her taxes, but when she saw the flyer at the center, she decided to take advantage of the service this year. She said it took about an hour and the people had been very nice, helpful – and that she would recommend that her friends use the service.When asked what Ethel Sterling was asked what she thought of the service – she’s used it for the past three years – Sterling exclaimed, “Hallelujah! They are wonderful to me and do a great job here.”To make an appointment, call the Senior Center at 740-920-3484; appointments are preferred for quicker service, but walk-ins are welcome. If you would like to volunteer next year or would like more information about the service, you can visit the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide website at www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide/?intcmp=FDN-FTR-LINKS.
Monday, Feb. 18, 2013
Free program helps seniors with tax preparation
Ethel Sterling receives assistance from a volunteer/instructor during her time at the center. Sterling has used the program for the last three years. MARTY PRICE
From left, Ruth Mayfield listens as volunteer Richard Shipman explains her filling and Dawn Stuart observes during the free AARP Tax-Aide service. MARTY PRICE
From left, Frances Parnell discusses her paperwork with volunteers Bill Ford and Gail Hall during the free AARP Tax-Aide service performed at the Cabarrus County Senior Center. MARTY PRICE