The Star-Herald

Volunteers needed for tax prep effort

CARIBOU, Maine — AARP Tax Aide plans to open by Feb. 7 and needs local volunteers.

The program offers free tax assistance to the elderly, low-income individuals and families, and others who might need assistance.  They will be operating at their site in Caribou at the VFW Hall, 253 Van Buren Rd.

The County group has been offering tax assistance to County residents for nearly 20 years. This year hours are expected to be Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please note that these dates and times may subject to change in the event of extreme weather or other circumstances. 

There are no COVID restrictions in place this year.

Our group is aware that many clients, for purposes of claiming a tax credit, wish to file at the state level only,” said organizer Penny Kern. “We are only too glad to assist with this, but to minimize congestion at the site we ask that those clients come in from noon to 2 p.m., each day we are open.”

Other clients, filing both state and federal returns, are asked to arrive before that time. No new return requests will be accepted after 2 p.m.

Clients must bring Social Security cards or other paperwork showing Social Security numbers for everyone in the household.  Clients are also required to present photo identification for the primary person on the return, as well as all other pertinent tax documents. 

If paperwork is missing, clients will be asked to return another time with all necessary documents. As always, clients should bring a copy of their most recent prior year return.

Intake facilitators will, if needed, assist each client in filling out the intake information that IRS requires.  Each client will be assigned to a qualified preparer, who will generate their return. Returns will be reviewed by another preparer before being approved and printed.  Every client will be given a printed copy.   

Unless the client wishes to paper file, the group will e-file the return.  On rare occasions, a paper file may be required. If a client wishes to have direct deposit of a refund, or direct withdrawal of a payment, they must show us a copy of a check.

The team needs new volunteers to assist with client intake, and to consider becoming tax counselors. Individuals should enjoy working with the public, and in the case of tax counselors, should be comfortable with working online. 

The team will supply all required training and equipment, and mileage to and from the site each day can be reimbursed. 

For more information, please contact Penny Kern, 768-8790 or Bob White, 540-1122.

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