AARP Tax-Aide program available in Chambersburg, Waynesboro, McConnellsburg

Staff reports

Chambersburg Tax-Aide program volunteers are again ready to provide free tax preparation for people in Franklin and Fulton counties.

They are continuing a service that's been provided for 38 years, while adapting for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free return preparation: AARP Tax-Aide volunteers are neighbors helping neighbors

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"Last year was a difficult time for most in that the AARP Tax-Aide program was required to modify operating procedures due to COVD-19," according to Roger Schwalm, local coordinator. "AARP spent the summer improving its service delivery program allowing it to provide its usual free tax service while also making every effort to provide a safe and protected environment for public and program volunteers."

One change this year is the location for the Greencastle-Waynesboro area from the Shady Grove Community Center to Waynesboro American Legion Post 15 on East Main Street. Volunteers are on hand from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.

Hours at the Chambersburg Recreation Center are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Hours at McConnellsburg American Legion Post 561 at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Chambersburg AARP Tax-Aide volunteers Lois Beckman and Ron Gipe assisted Vickie Brookens and Harry Lenharr at the Shady Grove Community Center in 2021. The site for free tax preparation for the Greencastle-Waynesboro area has moved to Waynesboro American Legion Post 15 for 2022.

"When the taxpayer makes their appointment, they need to tell the volunteer if there are any special issues that will need to be addressed by the counselor," Schwalm. "One of those issues would be if there is more than one return to be prepared, as additional returns require additional appointments."

Appointments run 60 to 75 minutes.

"This year, the taxpayer will meet with the counselor preparing their return," Schwalm said. "As in past years, the counselor will conduct the interview and review of the tax and intake forms with the taxpayer. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes. The taxpayer will be given a receipt for their tax documents and then will be asked to wait in their car or another area while the return is prepared and checked."

After the return is checked and printed, it will be reviewed by the taxpayer and counselor and signed.

Taxpayers can make appointments online at www.aarp.org/taxaide or by phone.

Four phone lines for the Chambersburg Recreation Center and Waynesboro American Legion Post 15 are staffed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The numbers are 223-842-1689, 223-842-1692, 223-842-1696 and 717-263-5479.

The McConnellsburg appointment line, 223-842-1701, is staffed Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Taxpayers should only call when the phones are staffed.

Anyone interested in being a AARP Tax Aide volunteer can, call 717-263-5479.