Put your math aptitude to work for others

PLATTSBURGH — AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteer Marcia LaPierre is recruiting new volunteers to prepare clients’ tax returns for the upcoming tax season.

No formal tax preparation knowledge or skill is necessary, only the desire to help, according to a press release.

We’re currently providing training,” she said.

“We provide books, the training and a mentor if they would like one.

“We train new people from now until mid-December. In January, we do our review training for those who have worked with us in the past, who don’t feel they need quite as much.”

A choice of free in-person and virtual classes will be available twice a week in the evenings.

Classes began the first week of October and will continue for 10 weeks.

It is not necessary to attend all classes to become certified.

All materials will be provided free of charge.

“We train at Plattsburgh State,” LaPierre said.

“They’ve given us a room to use, very nicely. It’s in Sibley Hall, Room 409. We are there on Wednesdays from 4 to about 6:30 p.m. The AARP Foundation does require us to take an examination from the IRS. All of us new and returning people have to pass the examination every year. It’s not a one-time thing, unfortunately.”

LaPierre has taken the examinations more times than she wants to count.

“It’s an IRS requirement that we be certified b the IRS by taking this examination and passing it with a score of 80% or greater,” she said.

“As of right now, we are not going to be allowed to do in-person returns. We are hoping by early February things will change.”

Volunteers will contribute their newly gained knowledge to assist low and middle income seniors and individual Clinton County residents to prepare and file income taxes electronically and apply for earned income tax credit and child tax credit.

“I had heard about it for years before I attempted the classes and taking the examination,” LaPierre said.

“I had never prepared taxes other than my own until then. I had an interest in numbers, helping people. I thought it was something I could do that not everybody is able to do. I’ve been doing it for, I believe, 18 years. I’ve been doing it a long time.”

Some volunteers participate for a year or two and stop.

“Other people do it a lot longer,” LaPierre said.

“I’m not the most long lived, however you want to say it. I haven’t been doing it the longest of anyone in the Plattsburgh area. There are others who have actually been doing it longer than I have.”

Email AmeriCorps Seniors for registration information: kgardner@cathcharities.org or phone 518-566-0944.


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