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Tax Assistance Offers “A Great Volunteer Opportunity”

The AARP Foundation's Tax Aide program is looking for volunteers. Courtesy photo from AARP
The AARP Foundation's Tax Aide program is looking for volunteers. Courtesy photo from AARP
October 19, 2015

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide program is looking for volunteers and the folks who do it say it's fun and a great thing to do.

Last year the program was at nearly 30 libraries, senior centers and other locations around the state. Hundreds of volunteers helped 27,000 low-and-moderate income folks in the state file state and federal taxes for free.

Lydia Plant has volunteered with Tax Aide for close to a decade and a half. She says it's a fun opportunity to stay sharp while giving back.

"It is very satisfying," says Plant. "We work with the taxpayers one-on-one and even through the years we make friends and we love it."

Over nearly 50 years, it's grown to be the nation's largest free tax-assistance program.

The volunteers get free training and certification from the IRS and Plant says it's deeply gratifying to help people who really need it.

"I get a lot of appreciation from my taxpayers who are so relieved to have it done without paying the high cost of a perpetration fee," she says.

Plant says if you don't want to work on tax returns they also need receptionists, translators and grass-roots leadership. She says it helps to be friendly, good with people, and have some skill with technology. But she says they have a place for everyone, you don't even need to be an AARP member, or even a retiree.

"A willingness to volunteer," she says. "Able to use a computer, that would be a plus. But we welcome any volunteers. That's it. I hope I've gotten you to want to volunteer with me now."

To find out more, go to aarp.org/taxaide, or call 1-888-OURAARP.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - AR