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Tax help coming soon to Eastern Sierra

January 13, 2014

Residents with good math and people skills who want to help other residents file their tax returns are encouraged to volunteer this week for the AARP Tax Aide program. Residents who need help filing their returns can start making appointments now. Photo courtesy MetroCreativeConnection

AARP Tax-Aide Free Program in Inyo County is still in great need of volunteers for the 2013 tax return prep season in the Bishop and Lone Pine areas.
As the Feb. 3 opening of the income tax return preparation season rapidly approaches, local AARP Tax-Aide Free Program coordinators encourage anyone interested in doing voluntary tax preparation to contact them immediately.
District Coordinator Sue Stalvo stressed the importance of volunteers springing into action immediately as they will be required to do quite a bit of studying before the five-session Volunteer Income Tax Assistance training class commences. Stavlo will instruct the no-charge class which is scheduled for Jan. 22-24 and Jan. 27-28 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Owens Valley Career Development Center computer lab, at the corner of Barlow and Diaz lanes on the Bishop Paiute Reservation.
According to Stalvo, who is also the local coordinator for the Mammoth Lakes area, volunteers will be trained and tested, open-book style, on the IRS tax return computer program and current tax law and will be required to complete a certification test. Additional assistance will be given “to help volunteers understand and become familiar with the level of tax preparation required to assist AARP Tax-Aide clients,” she added.
For more than 25 years, this jointly sponsored AARP/IRS program has provided tax preparation and counseling services to assist low- and moderate-income taxpayers with an emphasis on people over the age of 60.
It has also “always been a personally rewarding way to give back to the community where you reside,” Stalvo added.
Lone Pine Local Coordinator Pat Farrell said, “We need as many volunteers as we can get in Lone Pine because we only have a few volunteers and there must always be two volunteers on site” during tax preparation hours.
Starting Monday, Feb. 3, the AARP Tax-Aide Free Program will open its doors at the Lone Pine Senior Center, 138 N. Jackson Ln., Mammoth Lakes Branch Library, 400 Sierra Springs Dr.; and in Bishop, at the Senior Center, 506 Park Ave. and at OVCDC.
The four centers are now taking appointments. Call Local Coordinator Carolyn Poindexter at (760) 873-3286; Sue Stavlo (760) 934-5674; and Pat Farrell at (760) 876-1125.
For more information about the volunteering, the volunteer training class or getting tax assistance, call Poindexter at (760) 873-3286 or Sue Stavlo (760) 934-5674.

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