WANT TO VOLUNTEER ONLY IN THE WINTER?
By guest blogger Joan Jagolinzer
Not spending the winter in Florida or other warmer locations? Busy in the spring, summer and fall, but have free time in the winter. Consider volunteering with AARP Tax-Aide. In addition to actual tax preparation, volunteers are needed to help with scheduling, to greet taxpayers as they arrive at our tax preparation locations, to help us set up our computers and printers, and to assist with a variety of administrative tasks.
Training for all volunteers is held in January. With the exception of volunteers doing actual return preparation, the training takes no more than one day. Tax preparation starts on February 1st and ends on April 15th. Once trained, volunteers should be able to commitment to a minimum of four hours each week. Planning to take a one or two week vacation or trip in March or April? Not a problem! Volunteers can swap or double up on shifts as needed.
Volunteers who want to be involved with the actual preparation of tax returns should be comfortable working with computers. They do not need to be tax experts. Simply having used a software program to prepare their own tax return or those of family and friends is sufficient. Volunteers preparing taxes are required to pass open book tests to become IRS certified advanced volunteer tax preparers. Training is provided in January either in a classroom setting with other volunteers or online at one’s own pace. The time commitment for new volunteer tax preparers in January is significant. Training in subsequent years is much less ‘taxing’ (pun intended).
Although the AARP Tax-Aide program’s focus is on low to moderate income taxpayers 50 and over, the program serves taxpayers or all ages. Volunteering for this program is a rewarding way to spend part of your Maine winter. Meet new people – both other volunteers and the taxpayer served. There are currently 65 tax preparation sites in Maine – at least, one in every county.
With the demand and need for this program always increasing, there is need for additional volunteers to join the current AARP Tax-Aide team. Last year alone we prepared over 20,000 tax returns in Maine – all for free!
To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, visit www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide or contact, Maine State Prospective Volunteer Coordinator, Betsy Burpee at firstname.lastname@example.org. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in coordination with the IRS.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to ensure that low-income older adults have nutritious food, affordable housing, a steady income, and strong and sustaining bonds. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP.