It may not be tax season yet, but local volunteers are gearing up for it now.
“In the fall, we start preparing,” according to Roger Schwalm, local coordinator of the AARP/IRS (American Association of Retired Persons/Internal Revenue Service) Free Tax Preparation Service, part of the Franklin-Fulton Counties Tax-Aide Program. Robert Snyder is the district coordinator of the program.
“We start collecting supplies we will need and start the training our staff will need to pass the IRS tests we all must take each system,” he added. “We will spend the time between now and tax season starting reviewing changes to the tax law and practice working with the software changes implementing those changes.”
Schwalm said in 2022 the “very experienced and well trained staff” assisted 2,600 family groups with the preparation of over 5,300 federal, state, local and rent/property tax returns that returned $3.24 million, at no cost, to the community.
This was facilitated with the assistance of the Chambersburg Parks and Recreation Department providing the Eugene C. Clark Bard Hall four days a week, American Legion Post 561 in McConnellsburg one day a week and American Legion Post 15 in Waynesboro, two days per week, he added. “Without this community support, our program would not be able to function.”
Free tax service will be offered at the same times and locations as last year, Schwalm noted. Phone lines will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “In the past, a major problem was that folks tended to use only two – one for Chambersburg and one for McConnellsburg – of our four phone lines.” This tax season there will be three lines – 717-263-5479 and 223-304-0611 for Chambersburg with the 223-304-0611 number also serving Waynesboro, and the 223-304-0610 number for McConnellsburg.
‘We would like to remind folks that as we approach the end of the year and the early part of 2023, various organizations will start sending their tax documents. Make sure you have a place to store them until you go to have your tax return prepared,” Schwalm said.
Volunteers will start making appointments for the 2023 tax season Jan. 16. When making an appointment, clients need to note if there are any special issues that need to be addressed. “One such issue would be if more than one years’ return needs to be completed, as additional returns require additional time, thus the additional appointments,” he noted.