Last-minute free tax help offered in Westlake and Bay

Westlake Village AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Site Coordinator Earle McGraw enjoys the challenge of helping people do it right from the start. Photo by Mary Levtzow

Making a difference in one’s community has always been a priority for all the dedicated individuals that volunteer each year with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program. This special volunteer program started in 1968 with four volunteers at one site serving 100 taxpayers. Today, the program utilizes 35,000 volunteers at 6,000 sites across America helping 2.6 million taxpayers.

This program is the nation’s largest volunteer tax preparation assistance service under a cooperative agreement with the IRS. These dedicated individuals are IRS-certified volunteers that have been trained and IRS tested. This free, individualized, no-strings-attached program was designed to work with low- to moderate-income taxpayers, especially people 60 and older.

Westlake Village senior living community has three trained and tested AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers. The Westlake Village site coordinator is retired Union Carbide engineer Earle McGraw who set up this site in 2002 and has been an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteer for 21 years. Every Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the tax season from February to April 15, he and his team assist Westlake Village community members and local residents. Earle enjoys this AARP program because it provides him the great “satisfaction of helping people.” The training and IRS testing every year is very thorough.

Earle’s AARP Foundation Tax-Aide team members are counselor Steve Ersek with 25 years of volunteer service and data entry/computer operator Eleanor Joseph with three years of volunteering experience. One could not ask for a better team of tax consultants to quietly help one handle new forms and proper filing. These three volunteers, along with this AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program, deserve accolades and praise for meeting essential community needs.

AARP Tax-Aide volunteers also provide free assistance for taxpayers earning less than $75,000 per year at Bay Village's Dwyer Memorial Senior Center on Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon, through April 12.

Appointments are required at both locations, and may be made by calling Westlake Village at 440-892-4200 or the Dwyer Center at 440-899-3409.

Mary Levtzow

Writer, Hunger volunteer, church volunteer, Clague Playhouse supporter, Child of God, educator, and caring citizen that wants to share important programs to highlight community efforts.

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Volume 5, Issue 7, Posted 10:43 AM, 04.02.2013