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Tax-Aide Volunteers Needed in CT

Last year, Tax-Aide volunteers helped 31,000 Connecticut residents file their state and federal income-tax returns. (stevepb/Pixabay)
Last year, Tax-Aide volunteers helped 31,000 Connecticut residents file their state and federal income-tax returns. (stevepb/Pixabay)
October 13, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – Tax day is still months away, but now's the time to volunteer to give low- and middle-income people in Connecticut help in preparing their income-tax returns. The AARP Foundation has been recruiting and training volunteers for its Tax-Aide program for almost 50 years.

They give free tax-filing assistance to just about anyone who can't afford a tax preparation service, especially people over 50.

According to Linda Avery, state coordinator of the program, the training volunteers receive is very thorough.

"Our volunteers are trained by the IRS and take an IRS certification exam, which certifies them to do most tax returns that seniors in the state of Connecticut will be responsible for," she explains.

She says last year, Tax-Aide volunteers helped Connecticut taxpayers claim about $22 million in refunds. Information about volunteer opportunities is online at 'aarpfoundation.org/taxaide.'

Besides finding refunds, Avery says Tax-Aide volunteers save their clients about $250 in tax-preparation fees.

"Those tax-preparation fees might mean the difference between paying a bill, putting food on the table this week, or maybe paying for a prescription," she adds. "So, what we can do to help them save that money is what we're all about."

About 31,000 people got help with their taxes at 91 sites around the state last year.

And volunteers don't have to learn how to become tax preparers. Avery stresses that every level of experience is welcome.

"We have opportunities for client facilitators, greeters, tax counselors, technology coordinators," she says. "We can find a place for anybody that's looking to give back in their local community."

She adds volunteers should be available on weekdays during the tax season, from February 1st to April 17, but hours are flexible.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT