Weekly Feature

2011-06-01 / Business

AARP Tax Aide volunteers provide assistance

More than 1,100 local taxpayers took advantage of the free income tax service offered by AARP Tax Aide Volunteers at the Clarence Senior Center and the Clarence Public Library.

Twenty-eight individuals contributed more than 2,000 volunteer hours during February, March and April. These volunteers received training and support from AARP and the IRS. Their mission was to prepare and file 2010 federal and New York State tax returns free of charge to those residents who visited the sites.

Of all returns submitted by the Clarence volunteer sites, 94.7 percent were e-filed, ensuring prompt refunds and no bothersome paper mailing requirements for clients, according to information from the group.

Federal refunds totaled $1,046,195 at the two sites, averaging $977.75 per return. The program primarily serves senior citizens and low- and middle-income taxpayers; however, all ages and income levels are welcome, given that returns are prepared within the scope of Tax Aide training.

Without the assistance of volunteers, there would be no Tax Aide program. Each volunteer undergoes four full days of annual classes, a required course of home study and a proficiency exam, which must be passed before any tax preparation commences. The Tax Aide program thanked its volunteers for their efforts.

New volunteers are also sought. Those interested in joining this group during the next tax season, can contact John Scott at 683-0770 or Tom Pause at 689-6118.

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