Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on Sept. 11. Volunteer today



Contests and

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Books Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular



Free Help Filing Your Taxes

Massachusetts Tax-Aide volunteers will be available Feb. 1 through April 16

Tom Ligon Phyllis Sonnenschein, Massachusetts AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

Tom Ligon, of Wayland, coordinates 600 Massachusetts volunteers for AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. They prepare returns for clients like Phyllis Sonnenschein, of Natick. ‘It’s a wonderful service,’ she says. — Jason Grow

For many people, filing income tax returns provokes stress, anxiety and dread. Not so for Phyllis Sonnenschein, a retired high school science teacher from Natick.

For the past several years, Sonnenschein, 74, has gotten free tax preparation help from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers at the Natick Senior Center.

"It's a wonderful service," she said. "I actually look forward to it."

During tax season, an army of 600 trained AARP volunteers across Massachusetts will help low- and moderate-income residents, with a particular focus on those 60 and older, file their state and federal returns. There is no charge.

The volunteers are part of a nationwide program launched in 1968 that now serves 2.6 million taxpayers annually. Run in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it is the largest free volunteer tax prep program in the country.

Clients are asked to bring last year's tax returns; forms related to income from employment, pensions, annuities, Social Security, dividends or other sources; and canceled checks or other paperwork showing payment of state or federal taxes.

Sessions take an hour

"We do the taxes on the spot, and it takes about an hour," said Tom Ligon, volunteer state coordinator for Tax-Aide. "People are very grateful."

Ligon, 76, of Wayland, became a Tax-Aide counselor eight years ago. A retired engineer, he was looking for volunteer work that was "useful and stimulating." Having always prepared his own taxes, he thought the Tax-Aide program would be a good fit. He finds deep satisfaction in helping people, especially when he saves them money.

"It's frightening for people if they don't know whether they will owe money, and if they do, whether they will have the money to pay their taxes or buy food," Ligon said. "One of the best feelings is when someone comes in and they didn't realize they were eligible for a refund."

In 2012, more than 39,000 Massachusetts residents got help from Tax-Aide volunteers.

"Taxes are one of the inevitable things in life, so there is a strong demand for help," said Linda F. Fitzgerald, AARP Massachusetts state president. "For many people, doing taxes can be overwhelming."

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Member Benefits HomeServe

Members can protect their homes with comprehensive repair plans from HomeServe.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.