Dennis Kronlage, Casey Humpert and Vickie Derriso were gathered around their computers in an AARP Tax-Aide training session at the McMinnville Warren County Senior Center on Tuesday.
“I’ve known for a long time that McMinnville has not had a place for people to come and get their taxes done for free,” said Kronlage, chair of the Senior Center board. “The Senior Center is not just for seniors. It’s for the community and we want to help the whole community with their tax returns.”
Once the training is complete, Kronlage, Humpert and Derriso will become certified volunteer tax preparers. In fact, they are trained in cooperation with, and then tested by, the Internal Revenue Service.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is the nation’s largest, volunteer-run network of free tax assistance. Clients do not need to be a member of AARP, nor do volunteers.
Vickie Derriso, Senior Center assistant manager, said this service is going to be a great thing for our community.
“Every year we have seniors requesting info about where to get their taxes done,” said Derriso. “We have over 400 members and most of them are low income so this is going to be a great way for us to give back to the community.”
Volunteer facilitators and tax preparers will take walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis starting Tuesday, Feb. 5 through Apr. 11.
“I’m not going to do appointments,” said volunteer tax preparer Casey Humpert. “I’m hoping they’ll flow nicely so when people come in they will be greeted by a client facilitator, get an explanation of what will happen, and then they will wait for a preparer to become available.”
Returns can be electronically filed which helps ensure a more accurate return and faster processing of tax refunds. As far as estimated time of completion, this varies on client and could take between 45 minutes to an hour and a half.
This service will be offered on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Senior Center, 809 Morrison Street. For more info, call 473-6559.