Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tax Returns Filed Here; Free Tax-Aide Help - AARP Bulletin

by Angela Bryant

For Carol McClusky, 64, the long-dreaded chore of collecting paperwork and filling out income tax forms has taken a turn for the better.

"I used to panic to go back a year and match up forms, but now it's very peaceful," the grandmother of five said.

McClusky attributes her peace of mind to AARP Tax-Aide, a free program that helps seniors and low- to moderate-income taxpayers do their taxes.

By close of business on Tax Day — this year extended to April 18 — AARP Tax-Aide will have helped McClusky and an estimated 2.5 million other taxpayers navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions and file their returns to the Internal Revenue Service and state and local tax agencies.

Established in 1968 with four volunteers, the AARP Foundation program has blossomed into a national program with about 35,000 volunteers, each one trained by AARP and certified by the IRS. Last year, the volunteers helped users get refunds totaling $1.2 billion and earned income tax credits totaling $233 million.

The program is one of AARP's largest service activities, with people signing up as future volunteers year-round.

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