Commentary

December 14, 2012

Civilian volunteer at tax center gives back

I started volunteering at Luke Air Force Base Tax Center in January. It has been a great experience.

As a retired high school teacher of 33 years, I have no affiliation with the military, but I enjoy being able to give back to them for all they have done. How can we help those who ensure our freedom? How can we give back to them? One way is by doing their taxes.

Even for those who don’t feel competent in tax law, that is no problem. Training in the use of the software that is used is provided with the IRS and then a course of training that’s done individually.

There are several levels of knowledge and expertise a person can attain. To prepare tax returns, the basic level needs to be accomplished. A volunteer can stop there or continue to the intermediate level and progress to two other levels of certification in addition called advanced and military. Of course all tax preparers must achieve ethics certification before beginning to prepare taxes.

Volunteering in the tax center is a feel-good situation. The participants who come in for tax help are very appreciative. Another benefit is getting out of the house and meeting new people. Learning a new skill or expanding your skills as a tax preparer is also rewarding.

There is a real feeling of support and camaraderie with the other volunteers, a feeling of accomplishment and for me a way of learning about a different walk of life from my own.

I recommend anyone who can use a computer and likes to help others to consider volunteering this coming January through April at the Luke Tax Center.

For more information on training to become a volunteer tax preparer, call the 56th Fighter Wing legal office at (623) 856-6901.




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