MADERA COUNTY – Free income tax return preparation and electronic filing for both state and federal returns will be available again this year for mountain area residents of all ages, offered by the AARP Tax-Aide program.
Tax returns are prepared free of charge by specially trained, certified and supervised volunteers. This year there are 14 volunteers working in Oakhurst and in Madera.
Services are performed at the Oakhurst Senior Center on Tuesdays between Feb. 4 and Apr. 15. The returns are prepared on site, and then electronically filed. Appointments for Tuesdays can be made by calling the Senior Center at 559-683-3811.
In an effort to reach out to families and working people, the group is also offering tax return preparation services on four Saturdays at the Oakhurst Library. These services will be offered on Feb. 22, Mar. 8, Mar. 22 and Apr. 12. Appointments for the Saturday sessions can be made by calling Brian at 559-285-1494.
A third site in the main library in the City of Madera is also available. Services are provided there every Friday beginning Feb. 7, and continuing through Apr. 11. Appointments are available by calling Jeannie at 559-673-4115.
The program has been headed locally by Jerry Ephraim for over 24 years. Ephraim is presently serving as regional coordinator for California District 3, a large area which extends from Modesto in the north to Bakersfield in the south, and from San Jose and Monterey in the west to Sonora and Barstow in the east.
Although Ephraim has handed the day-to-day duties in Oakhurst to Darlene Kelly, he will still be present on most return preparation days to lend a hand and to meet and greet his long-time clients.
AARP Tax-Aide is the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service available to taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special attention to those age 60 and older. Over 33,000 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, trained in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), now help over 2 million taxpayers file their federal, state, and local tax returns each year at nearly 7,000 AARP Tax-Aide sites nationwide.