Free tax service in Pell City

Mike Dikeman and Dee Parson assist Darlene Tucker of Pell City with her tax returns.

PELL CITY -- Volunteer Janet Arthur sat behind the desk, next to the entrance, ready to greet individuals who were scheduled to meet a volunteer tax preparer Tuesday.

“We already have 12 scheduled for this week,” she said.

The AARP Free Tax Center is open for business at the 19th Street Pell City Community Center, 405 19th St. South, formerly known as the Old Armory, and where the Pell City Boys and Girls Club now meets.

“Last year, we completed more than 100 free tax returns for senior citizens and low-income individuals,” said Penny McPherson, the new local coordinator for the AARP Free Tax Center.

McPherson is responsible for organizing, participating in training and leading the Free Tax Centers, as well as working as a volunteer tax aide.

Arthur said there are five preparers and four client facilitators who work at the center each week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The volunteers will assist people with both their federal and state tax returns, which must be filed by April 17.

“Individuals wanting to have their tax returns prepared should call 205-915-5126 for an appointment,” McPherson said.

She said that the telephone number is different from last year’s number.

Volunteer Stanley Atkins said the tax preparation service is available to seniors, age 50 and older, as well as lower income individuals with an annual income of $64,000 or less.

McPherson said the tax aide program is sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“All volunteers are required to take and pass tests before they can be certified to work as a tax aide or client facilitator,” McPherson said.

She said AARP and the IRS provided training materials, tax software, computers, a printer and supplies.

McPherson said the center also received support from the men’s group and the Rev. Mollie Roberts at St. Simon Peter Episcopal Church in Pell City.

“The City of Pell City provided the space for the Free Tax Center to greet clients and prepare tax returns at no cost to the center,” she added.

All non-paid volunteers at the center donate their time and expertise to the program.

“No person for whom tax returns are prepared is charged anything for preparing and filing the federal or state returns,” McPherson said.

She said the center will operate until Tuesday, April 10.

For more information or to set up your appointment, call 205-915-5126.