IRS and AARP seek 2012 tax preparation volunteers

The Internal Revenue Service in partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is looking for volunteers to help prepare tax returns next year at various AARP-sponsored sites throughout Southern California. Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome.

All AARP tax counselor volunteers receive comprehensive AARP tax-aide training in cooperation with the IRS. Individuals with good computer skills are especially needed to help transmit returns electronically through the IRS E-file program.

“IRS is proud to work with AARP on this program. It’s really a great resource for the American taxpayer,” said IRS spokesman Raphael Tulino. “With about 200 sites at senior centers, libraries and other locations in the area, there’s bound to be one close to home.”

Training generally begins in early January. Volunteers can help in five separate capacities:

•Return Preparer — A return preparer will actually prepare tax returns. A one-week training course is provided.

•Computer/IT Specialist — Those who wish to be a computer technology specialist only.

•Greeter — Someone to greet taxpayers, answer questions and provide forms.

•Communication Specialists — Working with media sources to promote the program.

•Fundraiser — Solicit funds from businesses to help offset the cost of equipment.

AARP tax-aide sites will be open from Feb. 2, 2012, through April 17, 2012. Days and hours of operation will be different at each site and the time commitment will also vary, but most volunteers spend four to eight hours a week at a site.

Volunteers completed over 36,000 returns last year throughout Southern California.

More information is at 1-888-687-2277 or www.aarp.org/taxaide. IRS information, including more on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, is at www.irs.gov.

   
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