AARP offers tax help to county residents

A program called the Tax Counsel for the Elderly will offer free
personal tax assistance to middle- and low-income San Benito County
taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and older.
A program called the Tax Counsel for the Elderly will offer free personal tax assistance to middle- and low-income San Benito County taxpayers, with special attention to those 60 and older.

The Tax-Aide program, sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons, runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-5 pm. Feb. 4 through April 15 in room 6 at the former Fremont School, 335 West Street.

Dolly De Vasier organizes the local effort and is one of eight volunteers who will answer questions and help residents prepare their tax returns.

“We ourselves think it’s important because so many people don’t have a lot of money and can’t afford to go downtown to paid preparers,” De Vasier said.

The AARP began the program in 1968 under an agreement with an IRS program called Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Nationwide, the program has helped 27 million people file taxes at more than 10,000 locations annually, according to the AARP. The service is confidential and the program is not for profit.

De Vasier said the local program, which is also confidential and non-profit, helps 200 to 225 people per year.

Residents with an appointment should bring tax materials received in the mail, last year’s return and any other information on income and expenses. The volunteers are not trained in preparation of returns reporting business, rental or partnership income.

For more information call De Vasier at 637-1980.

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