Ziller, 65, of Norfolk, leads a group of about 120 men and women who expect to help roughly 10,000 clients this year at eight sites in the Tidewater region complete their federal and state tax returns. Tax-Aide works only because of its dedicated volunteers, Ziller said.
Tax-Aide volunteers generally have very satisfied customers. But that doesn't mean taxpayers always walk away happy.
Jane Alcorn, 64, a retiree and the Williamsburg coordinator, said she enjoys meeting and helping people from all walks of life, but she has had taxpayers break down in tears when they get bad news about their tax bill.
"There's always pain when you have to pay taxes," she said. "The pain comes … when people owe money or didn't realize they must pay penalties for cashing in a 401(k)" retirement fund.
Here's a list of items taxpayers should bring with them:
- Last year's tax returns, all of their W-2s and 1099 forms and any statements that show interest or dividends or sales of stock and mutual funds.
- A Social Security card or identification card with a Social Security number on it.
- A photo identification card.
- A Social Security number and proof of date of birth for each dependent claimed. Parents claiming education expenses for student dependents need a form sent by the college.
- Taxpayers who donated a car need a form sent by the charity.
- Taxpayers signing for elderly parents need a copy of the power of attorney.
Taxpayers who bring all of the necessary paperwork only need one trip to the Tax-Aide office, Welch said.
Judi Hasson is a freelance writer based in McLean, Va.