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AARP Recruiting Tax-Aide Volunteers in Oregon

AARP volunteers helped 45,000 Oregonians with their taxes earlier this year. (stevepb/Pixabay)
AARP volunteers helped 45,000 Oregonians with their taxes earlier this year. (stevepb/Pixabay)
August 13, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – The nation's largest free tax-aid program is looking for volunteers in Oregon.

For more than 50 years, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program has assisted people with low and moderate incomes file their taxes.

More than 1,000 volunteers helped 45,000 Oregonians file their 2018 returns this year.

Bob Bruce, AARP Oregon's state coordinator for the Tax-Aide program, says despite changes to the code that some believe have simplified it, folks still find filing taxes confusing and frustrating.

With the program, filers get one-on-one attention.

"The program provides a way of personally helping individual families with their taxes, and in some cases, we help educate taxpayers about credits that they don't even know that they're eligible for,” Bruce points out. “So it's a very satisfying experience for volunteers."

Bruce says some commonly overlooked programs include credits for child care, parents sending children to college and the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families.

On 2018 returns, volunteers helped Oregonians receive more than $11 million in Earned Income Tax Credits and more than $47 million in refunds overall.

AARP is recruiting through the end of October.

Bruce says AARP is looking to fill a variety of roles, including people with computer expertise, management of clients and translators.

While there were nearly 130 sites across Oregon this year, Bruce says there's still a need for more workers.

"We would like to be able to serve more areas of the state because we know there's a need,” he stresses. “Our difficulty is that we simply do not have enough volunteers, particularly in the rural areas where we would like to provide more services."

Before the season starts, volunteers complete tax preparation training and IRS certification.

Folks interested in volunteering can head to AARP's website.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR