Do you want to be an AARP Tax-Aide Volunteer? Call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669)
History of the AARP Tax-Aide Program
Since 1968 when four volunteers prepared 100 income tax returns, the AARP Tax-Aide program has grown steadily and is now AARP's largest volunteer program. Each year, more than 35,000 volunteers help prepare approximately 2.6 million federal, state, and local returns. They are supervised by approximately 4,000 volunteer coordinators. The volunteers operate in more than 6,000 tax preparation sites. The program has been honored with the US President's Citation Award for Private Sector Initiatives. In 1996 the federal funds for and the administration of the AARP Tax-Aide program were transferred to the AARP Foundation in accordance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.
The Program Today
AARP Tax-Aide is successful because of the many volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities within the AARP Tax-Aide program, and more volunteers are needed to expand this valuable program.
Providing tax counseling requires three types of volunteer specialists. Each position uses different skills, but all are challenging, rewarding, and essential to the AARP Tax-Aide program's success. The three positions are:
Counselors are volunteers, trained in cooperation with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), who work directly with older persons who need tax assistance. To qualify as a Counselor, individuals should have an interest in tax work, experience in filing their own returns, and a willingness to make a significant commitment of time. A minimum commitment of four hours per week from February 1 until April 15 is required. Counselors attend an extensive training course to become knowledgeable about the filing requirements and other aspects of the tax returns of older people. Volunteer counselors are trained to assist older persons with their federal as well as their state and local returns. The program focuses on personal income taxes of middle and low income taxpayers as a service to those who are unable to afford professional assistance.
Instructors are responsible for conducting training sessions for Counselors on income-tax information and tax return preparation. The instructors are trained under the guidance of the Internal Revenue Service. Instructors are selected for their knowledge of tax matters and for their training abilities.
Coordinators supervise and direct the AARP Tax-Aide program activities in their area. Their major responsibilities include recruiting volunteers, providing program publicity, planning training courses, and arranging for AARP Tax-Aide sites. They also establish and maintain contact with other volunteers.
How to Volunteer
Persons interested in becoming a Tax Aide volunteer should call the National AARP office at 1-888-AARP-NOW! (1-888-227-7669)
Administered through the AARP Foundation in Cooperation with the IRS