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RSVP seeks tax volunteers
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In this undated photo from 2011, volunteer Kathy Ahlvers helps a client do taxes. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Volunteers are needed to prepare income tax returns for senior citizens next year, said Donna Baugh, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Central Kansas. RSVP sponsors a program designed by the American Association of Retired Persons .
The AARP Tax Aide Program has been in operation for more than 15 years in Barton County. This program helps low to moderate income individuals, with an emphasis on seniors and persons with disabilities, to prepare state and federal income returns at no cost.
A person doesn’t have to be an accountant to help, Baugh said. Volunteers will be trained to use tax preparation software. “If you are comfortable working on a computer, detail-oriented, and like to work with diverse people, you will be perfect for this.”
Volunteers receive four days of training on the IRS software and simple tax code. In the past few years, the training has been conducted in Hays during January, but if there were enough volunteers in this area, it is possible the training could be held here in Great Bend.  The returns that the volunteers are trained to do are fairly basic.  Returns that have depreciation are not accepted; nor are returns with more than 5 W-2’s.   
In past years, volunteers have worked one full day a week from the first of February through April 15 at the Barton County Courthouse.  Appointments are scheduled through the RSVP office and no one is seen without an appointment.    
According to Kathy Ahlvers, who has volunteered with the program for 15 years since moving to Great Bend, more volunteers are needed for the 2013 tax season.  Last year, people had to be referred to programs in other towns because all the volunteers working here were totally booked.
For more information about this volunteer opportunity, contact Baugh at the RSVP office, 792-1614.