Regional Tax Programs Seek Volunteers

By / Life on the Island / Monday, 18 December 2017 05:00

Looking for a volunteer opportunity that is mentally challenging and fulfilling? How about assisting members of your community through the maze of income tax preparation? AARP Tax-Aide and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program VITA programs seek volunteers to prepare and electronically file federal and North Carolina tax returns for low and moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and older.  Adult volunteers of all ages are welcome, and AARP membership is not a requirement.
AARP Tax-Aide and VITA are all-volunteer programs provided free to eligible taxpayers. The programs, which have served the region for more than 20 years, have more than 200 volunteers in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.
The programs assist people who cannot afford tax counselors. Last year, volunteers prepared and filed more than 7,000 federal and state tax returns. Over 95% were filed electronically. Tax preparer volunteers receive IRS-approved training and IRS certification. Training begins in November with self-study. Classroom and computer training follows in January. Practical exercises preparing sample returns on IRS-provided software cap off the training.
Preparation of returns begins February 1 and continues through April 16 this year. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least four hours per week; most commit to two four-hour days per week. In New Hanover County, volunteer service locations are available in Carolina Beach and at the Senior Resource Center and the Main Library; and in Pender County at the Topsail Senior Center. Brunswick County volunteer locations are in Shallotte, Calabash, Oak Island, Southport, and Leland.
If you are interested in challenging work, expanding your knowledge and helping others, then this is the volunteer opportunity for you. For the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center and Carolina Beach VITA sites, contact Teresa Nelson or Valerie Smith, 798-6400.  For New Hanover County's main library AARP site, contact Kevin O'Grady, 352-8058. For Brunswick county AARP sites, contact Steve Varnum, 910-712-0407. For Pender County AARP sites, contact Jack Padgett, 270-4387.

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