RP Senior Center offers free tax to help for all
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By Bonnie Petty  February 11, 2010 03:29 pm

You don't have to be a senior citizen to take advantage of the free tax preparation being offered at Rohnert Park's Senior Center. Through AARP Foundation's TAX-AIDE program, local volunteers are trained in both tax preparation and computer use to assist with electronic tax filing. The computers are on loan from the IRS.
 
The free assistance is available every Friday through April 9th for anyone with limited to moderate incomes, but is especially designed to assist those over 60. No appointments are necessary as the program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Membership in AARP is not required.
 
Rosalind Morino, an IRS retiree and an Enrolled Agent, oversees the program at the center. She wants to remind everyone that there are only 10 volunteers and some returns can be time-consuming, which limits the number of tax returns they can do in a day. The doors open at 9am, Morino says, but "we try to facilitate the first 50 people who show up."
 
"The only thing that holds us back," Morino adds, "is we need more volunteers." She hopes people will ask themselves, Is this something I'd like to do? and consider volunteering. Full training is offered free of charge. Last year more than 600 tax returns were filed for local residents.
 
Remember to gather up any pertinent receipts for possible tax deductions, all income statements (usually W-2's or 1099's), and a copy of your 2008 tax return. Even those who don't itemize may be able to deduct certain items, such as home taxes or sales tax on cars or other major purchases. In addition, social security cards must be presented for any dependent or taxpayer who is not receiving social security benefits.
 
Every Friday morning throughout the year, tax assistance and advice is offered to any Rohnert Park citizen to help with filing past due tax returns, answer letters from the IRS and the Franchise Tax Board, or other tax issues. The tax clinic is offered through the help of retired tax people and is free of charge.
 
The Senior Center is located at 6800 Hunter Drive, Suite A. For more information about the tax clinics, tax preparation or to volunteer, call 585-6780.

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