Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Volunteers Do Tax Returns

There are 57 days left until the April 15th income tax return deadline. Many people struggle with their tax returns, whether it's understanding how to do it or being able to afford an accountant. But the AARP offers help for both cases.

The Petit Branch of the Onondaga County Public Library is just one of many locations throughout the Syracuse area and throughout the country that host the AARP Tax Aide program. Instead of paying an accountant do their tax returns, people schedule appointments with volunteers to get their taxes done for free.

The volunteers are not Certified Public Accountants, though. "One person is a retired pediatrician, another person is a retired teacher, another person is a retired professor of forestry, and the last person is still working but has Wednesdays off, so she helps us out," said Pat Druger, who is the Electronic Records Originator that files people's tax returns from her home computer through an online program called E-File.

All volunteers go through three days of training in January in a program called Tax Wise, which the IRS supplies. The five volunteers at the Petit Branch Library work two days a week from February 1 through April 15 and file approximately 200 returns a year.

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