TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - With the IRS tax filing deadline just around the corner, there good news for local, free preparation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) are teaming up again this year in the Tahoe region with local tax aide volunteers to offer free tax preparation assistance for low and middle income individuals, with special attention for those aged 60 and over.
Alex Graham, Frank Schneller and Georgia Smith are the tax aide volunteers who will assist residents with their tax preparations at the Family Resource Center of Truckee (FRCoT) and the North Tahoe Family Resource Center in Kings Beach.
Graham, who has a Master's degree in Taxation, has volunteered through the AARP program for more than 14 years. Schneller, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), has been volunteering for the past six years. Now volunteering with the program for the second year, Smith is a retired FDIC bank examiner and local bookkeeper. Each year, the volunteers take an IRS-sponsored class and exam to ensure they are up to date on the latest changes to the tax code.
When asked why they devote so much time to this program, Schneller and Graham stated they felt the need to serve their community and felt a great sense of satisfaction in addressing a local need. Graham said, "There is a real need in the community for education regarding taxes."
Schneller said he felt "happy to use a skill he had to help those in financial need get the full tax refund that they are entitled to." The volunteers have partnered with the FRCoT because they feel this organization has its finger on the pulse of the community and already works with the clientele they aim to serve.
According to Schneller, residents associate the FRCoT with quality services and feel comfortable getting their taxes prepared in an environment in which they already get valuable services.
These tax preparation services are available to locals of all income levels and all ages, as long as their taxes do not include complex or business returns. Taxes are filed electronically, ensuring refunds are received quickly. The volunteers will file both federal and state returns, ensuring all who file get the maximum credits and deductions.
Family Advocates at the FRCoT are able to provide translation services as well as connect participants to other community resources. While these services are provided free of charge, donations are gladly accepted.
The volunteers are providing their services at the FRCoT, by appointment only. The dates of the free service are: March 9, 15, 23, 29; and April 6 and 12. Call 530-587-2513 as soon as possible to schedule your appointment!
Services at the NTFRC Kings Beach will take place on the following dates: March 7, 14, 21, 28; and April 4 and 11. Call 530-546-0952 to schedule an appointment.