Now that the holiday decorations are packed away, it’s time to think about the looming tax deadline on April 15. AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are gearing up to help low- and moderate-income taxpayers, especially those ages 60 and older, prepare and file their tax returns.
More than 3,200 volunteers in Florida will be a part of the AARP Tax-Aide program this season. From Feb. 1 through April 15, they will help seniors with professional and free tax assistance. Florida's Tax-Aide volunteers anticipate preparing between 150,000 and 170,000 federal tax returns this year. Among those, about 95 percent will be filed electronically.
“Florida has one of the largest AARP Tax-Aide programs in the nation,” said William Casement, Gulf (Florida and Georgia) Regional Coordinator for AARP Tax-Aide. “Florida has six sub-states, and the sub-states are divided into districts. Each has full team of volunteers and a district coordinator.”
In addition to filing returns, Tax-Aide volunteers will help an even greater number of people who walk through the doors of the more than 300 tax sites located around the state.
"We also track how many tax questions are answered and any other assistance that is provided," said Casement. "Last year, that number was about 230,000 people. We anticipate that number will be around 260,000 based on current economic conditions."
AARP Tax-Aide has been helping taxpayers since 1968 at sites located in convenient places such as libraries, malls, banks, and senior centers. Nationwide, more than 35,000 Tax-Aide volunteers help nearly 3 million people across the country with their tax questions and returns, making sure they receive all of their eligible deductions. Volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS, which has a cooperative agreement with the AARP Foundation to run the program.
Casement said that volunteers are always needed – and not just to be tax preparers and counselors.
"We are always looking for people with leadership, technical, administrative, and other skills as well as those folks that may just want to help in the community," he said. "Once they complete the online request form, we will contact them to make sure they have an opportunity to join in the good work of the AARP Tax-Aide program."
To review position descriptions and to volunteer, please complete the online form.
To find an AARP Tax-Aide site near you, plug your zip code into the search engine or call AARP’s toll-free number at 1-888-227-7669 from late Jan. through April 15.
Find more information about the AARP Tax-Aide program.