AARP Program Seeks Tax Aide Volunteers

BERLIN – Officials with a free tax preparation program are seeking compassionate and friendly individuals to join its volunteer team this upcoming tax season.

Throughout the months of December and January, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide will offer training at the Ocean Pines Library for community members wishing to volunteer for the upcoming tax season.

“You don’t have to have any qualifications,” District Coordinator Maria Liebig said. “It’s really just a commitment.”

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is the largest volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service. The organization offers free tax preparation help to anyone, with special attention on older, low-income taxpayers.

Liebig said those wishing to volunteer for the program can attend any of the training sessions at the Ocean Pines Library. Tax preparers will receive IRS certification and will work with individuals who may miss out on credits and deductions they’ve earned because they can’t afford to pay for professional tax preparation.

“You basically learn how to prepare the taxes for the people,” she said. “We have training and you have to pass a test.”

Classes will be held on Dec. 9, 12 and 16 and Jan. 7, 10, 13, 16, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29 and 31. December sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, while January sessions will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and 9 a.m. to noon all other days of the week.

Once trained, Liebig said volunteers will be able to offer tax assistance in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Pocomoke and Salisbury.

“They can volunteer at any site,” she said.

Liebig encouraged anyone to volunteer. According to the organization’s website, volunteer roles include a tax preparer, client facilitator, technology coordinator, communications coordinator, administrative volunteer and a bilingual speaker.

For more than 50 years, the Tax-Aide program has helped more than 68 million low- and moderate-income taxpayers. You don’t have to be an AARP member, and there’s no age requirement to get tax help from IRS-certified volunteers.

Liebig said dates, times and locations for free tax preparation services in Worcester and Wicomico counties will be announced in January.

For more information, call Maria Liebig at 646-645-0386, email md557@aol.com, or visit aarpfoundation.org/taxaide.

“You are providing a nice service to low- and medium-income families and senior citizens, so they can get their taxes done for free,” she said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.