The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program needs volunteers to prepare and electronically file federal and state income tax returns for low- to moderate-income tax payers. This program is provided free of charge to eligible taxpayers.
Due to both growth and attrition, new volunteers are needed each year. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Volunteers do not need to be members of AARP.
After orientation in December, all volunteers receive training in January. No prior experience in tax preparation is required, but basic computer skills are needed. Training in tax law can be done either in a classroom setting or online. Taking and passing the IRS open-book advanced volunteer tax preparer test is required for volunteers doing actual tax return preparation. All volunteers are required to complete two other very simple, open-book, multiple-choice tests before being certified to work with taxpayers.
Once they are tested and certified, volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of four hours per week over the 10-week tax filing season, which runs from Feb. 1 through April 15. Volunteers who have or make plans for a one- or two-week trip during the tax filing season can double up on their time commitment before or after their travels. All volunteers are reimbursed on a limited basis for qualified program-related expenses, including mileage.
In addition to tax preparers, other volunteer help is needed greeting taxpayers as they arrive, trouble-shooting computer and printer problems, assisting with publicity or assuming one of several leadership roles.