Tax season can be one of the most dreaded times of the year. For many Americans, the complicated process can be discouraging and even a bit disheartening. That’s why AARP created Tax-Aide, a service that assists more than thirty-million qualified seniors and low income people. And, as Eve Annunziato reports, this help comes without a price tag.
(Locator: Nashville, Tenn.)
Volunteer: “Okay, let’s do your medical premiums.”
Lillian Richmond, Tax-Aide Client: “I feel great. It’s about the most American thing you can do is get your taxes done. And I have done that, and it was free. You can’t beat that.”
Instead of worrying about filing her annual taxes, Lillian Richmond is relieved. A trained financial counselor is advising her at no cost, thanks to AARP’s Tax-Aide program.
Volunteer with client: “Over here shows that you do not owe any tax.”
Tax season can cause anxiety to those living on limited resources. Paying an average 150 dollars for an agent to file a simple return is usually out of the question for the 40 percent of seniors and 60 percent of low-income families who qualify as Tax-Aide clients. That added expense could take food off their tables.
Thelma Mulloy, Tax-Aide Client: “That would take a chunk out of my Social Security check which I need for house payments, light bill, water bills.”
Nira Gamble, Tax-Aide Client: “When you don’t have a lot of funds coming in every month after you retire you don’t have a job.”
Tax Aide depends on volunteers—32,000 of them working at more than 7,800 sites nationwide.
At West Nashville United Methodist Church, Julian Suggs, other certified experts and church members are giving up eleven consecutive Saturdays to give others a special tax break.
Julian Suggs, Tax-Aide Volunteer: “After they’re all accepted I have the most wonderful calm and peace in that I've been able to help people and I've been able to save people a lot of money.”
Lillian Richmond, Tax-Aide Client: “I am relieved and appreciate it, and I have it done, electronically done and it’s over with. I don’t even have to put a stamp on it!”
Tax-Aide has been offered for forty years, and is the largest free tax preparation program in the country. To find a Tax-Aide site near you, call 1-888-227-7669 or log onto the Web site at www.aarp.org.
Also, see: Church makes filing less taxing for the needy