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County Tax Program Seeking Volunteers

NEW HANOVER CTY - Looking for a volunteer opportunity that is mentally challenging and fulfilling?  AARP Tax-Aide and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) seeks volunteers like you to prepare and electronically file federal and North Carolina tax returns for low- and moderate-income taxpayers, with special attention to those over 60 and older.  Adult volunteers of all ages are welcome, and AARP membership is not a requirement.
AARP Tax-Aide and VITA-the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance service offered annually by RSVP are all-volunteer programs provided completely 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 working as greeters or preparers.
The program assists those who cannot afford tax counselors to assist them through the maze of the federal and state tax laws.  Last year volunteers prepared and filed more than 6,500 federal tax returns.  The average income of the taxpayers was less than $26,000.  This service resulted in the return to this region millions of dollars in federal and state tax refunds, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in various federal tax credits.
To continue and expand the program, both AARP Tax-Aide and VITA need more volunteers to serve either as greeters or as tax preparers.  Greeters are volunteers who meet the taxpayers and maintain the order of service.  Tax preparer volunteers receive IRS-approved training and IRS certification.  Training begins in November with self-study.  A week of classroom training follows in January.  Practical exercises preparing sample returns on IRS-provided software caps off the training.  IRS Certification is granted with the successful completion of its test module.
Actual preparation of returns begins on Monday,  February 3 and continues to April 15. 
Volunteers are asked to commit to at least four hours per week; most commit to two-four hour days per week.  For additional information, please contact Valerie Smith at (910) 798-6400 at the New Hanover County Senior Resource Center, 2222 South College Road.