WEST ORANGE, NJAARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest volunteer-run tax-preparation service that is locally headquartered in West Orange, has officially kicked off volunteer recruitment for the program and is looking to expand its local team of volunteers for the upcoming tax season.

The foundation—AARP’s charitable affiliate that “works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connectedness,” according to its website—is now accepting new volunteers prior to the training period from November through January. In Essex and Hudson counties, Tax-Aide volunteers work out of 11 different sites from Feb. 1 through April 15 every year.

Essex County volunteer sites include the Livingston Senior and Community Center in Livingston; United Way of Northern NJ in Montclair; and the public libraries of West Orange, South Orange, Orange, East Orange, Irvington, Maplewood and Belleville.

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Tax-Aide offers free in-person tax preparation and assistance to low-and moderate-income individuals nationwide. According to AARP, volunteers make a difference in their communities by helping taxpayers and their families, who might otherwise miss out on the tax credits and deductions they have earned.

In addition to providing a much-appreciated service to their neighbors, volunteers also have an opportunity to learn how to do taxes and work on great teams.

The variety of volunteer roles includes tax preparers, client facilitators, those who can provide technical and management assistance and interpreters. Volunteer tax preparers complete tax preparation training and IRS certification. Every level of experience is welcome.

Last year, more than 1,000 AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 40,000 people in New Jersey file their federal and state tax returns. The program is offered at approximately 150 sites in New Jersey, including senior centers, libraries and other convenient locations.

Since its inaugural team of just four volunteers in 1968, the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program has served more than 68 million taxpayers and now involves 35,000 volunteers.

In 2019, taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received $1.4 billion in income tax refunds and more than $200 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs).

The AARP Foundation serves both AARP members and nonmembers alike. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in coordination with the IRS.

To learn more about AARP Foundation, visit aarpfoundation.org. To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit aarpfoundation.org/taxaide or call 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277).