Meet Steve Robbins. He’s the new volunteer state coordinator of the AARP Tax-Aide program in Kansas. His job is to oversee the more than 400 men and woman volunteers who provide help to middle-to low-income Kansans who need assistance preparing their taxes each year.
See Also: Volunteer With AARP Foundation Tax-Aide for 2012
While it may seem a daunting task to keep track of all those volunteers, Robbins biggest challenge is actually finding more volunteers to cover rural parts of the state.
“We have a critical need for volunteers to become Tax-aide counselors in several areas of the state,” said Robbins. “The volunteers don’t need to be accounting wizards. They just need to have basic computer skills and the personal drive necessary to learn and become proficient with new tax return preparation software.”
AARP Tax-aide volunteers receive training each year from the IRS to ensure they follow the proper procedures in preparing and submitting tax returns. Last year in Kansas, Tax-aide volunteers assisted more than 28,000 taxpayers prepare and file their returns resulting in $15.5 million in Federal refunds returned to those individuals and families.
Robbins, who lives in Overland Park, has been with the AARP Tax-aide program for the last five years. During that time he has served as a tax counselor, instructor, coordinator for a tax site and the district coordinator for Johnson, Miami and Linn counties. Prior to becoming involved with Tax-Aide, Robbins worked for a large computer and printer company for 28 years. He held positions in technical support, sales, administration, finance, manufacturing, distribution and customer experience. He has a BA degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and a MBA from the University of Rochester in New York.
Robbins and his crew of volunteers are preparing for the upcoming tax season through training and making sure they can provide tax counselors in as many areas of the state as possible. In 2011, taxes were prepared at 92 different sites throughout Kansas.