“Our program has grown in popularity, and the number of people volunteering has dropped,” said Jan Watson, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide state coordinator for Alaska. “We are searching for people who have the time and desire to prepare basic taxes to help some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.”
No prior tax experience is necessary. Volunteers do need some computer knowledge, must have an email address and need to have the time to attend classes. Then, they’ll be asked to volunteer at one of seven sites open across Anchorage during the tax season. Schedules are flexible and volunteers get to choose what day and work sites work best for them. A volunteer preparing taxes for approximately six hours a week during the tax season saves households over $9,000 in tax preparation fees.
Last year, over 40 well-trained tax preparers filed Federal tax returns for over 5,200 residents at no charge to the taxpayer. With an average tax preparation fee running approximately $300, it is estimated that this service saved Anchorage residents more than $1.5 million in tax prep fees and delivered $8.8 million in refunds back to Anchorage families and our local economy. This year’s goal is to assist everyone who requests help with filing a tax return, within the scope of the program, without having to turn people away or ask them to return another day.
Training for volunteers starts December 12. For more information, or to sign up as a potential volunteer, visit www.aarp.org/volunteer and click on the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Volunteer box. Complete the application, and a volunteer coordinator will call you with more information.
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About United Way of Anchorage
United Way of Anchorage works to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks for a good life: education, income and health. The goal is to create lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. United Way invites everyone to be part of the change. GIVE. ADVOCATE. VOLUNTEER. LIVE UNITED. Please visit LIVEUNITEDANCHORAGE.org.