help Nevadans with their taxesGot financial skills? Love working with numbers? You can help Nevadans maximize their money this tax season by becoming a Tax-Aide volunteer!

Each year, the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program provides free tax preparation for thousands across the country.  Last season in Nevada, Tax-Aide volunteers served nearly 16,000 people throughout the state, preparing returns and answering questions for some who did not need to file.  Their efforts resulted in more than $11 million in tax refunds!

More than 270 Nevada Tax-Aide volunteers provided assistance at 40 sites across the state, from Fallon to Mesquite and Boulder City to Incline Village.  Organizers are hoping to expand the program for 2014, recruiting more volunteers and increasing the ability to serve more rural communities.  That’s where you come in!

Who can volunteer? You don’t have to be an accountant or have a formal tax background to become a Tax-Aide volunteer. The Nevada Tax-Aide team includes engineers, teachers, military veterans and people who have worked in local government.  One volunteer is a professional poker dealer, who enjoys working with numbers!  Volunteers stay with the program year after year because they enjoy helping people, staying in the know on the latest tax law developments, and the camaraderie of their fellow volunteers.  Many are moved by the profound appreciation expressed by taxpayers they’ve helped.

What kind of commitment is involved? New volunteers will go through one week of “basic training” in January, learning about tax law and the computer software used to prepare tax returns.  There is some homework involved as well. 

All volunteers are required to pass an IRS test each year to become certified to do the work. Once certified, new volunteers are assigned to Tax-Aide sites, based on community need as well as schedule and location preference of the volunteer.  You won’t be on your own, either. Newcomers to the program are mentored and assisted by experienced volunteers, and all returns are quality reviewed to ensure accuracy.

How many hours will I be needed? Tax-Aide asks for a minimum commitment of 40 hours at a site over the 10-week period from February 1 through April 15, but volunteers are welcome to work more hours if they are available and interested. Many volunteers work two or more days per week (about 4-5 hours per day).

Are there other ways to help?  If you’d like to help but don’t want to be involved with the actual tax preparation, the program is also seeking volunteers to help set up computers and printer networks, assist with communications and help as greeters at the program sites.

If you’re interested in volunteering, register today at http://bit.ly/I1I5np

Learn more about the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program 

photo: (c) istockphoto.com/alexkopje