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AARP volunteers help seniors with tax returns

By By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Feb. 6, 2002
When Jim Knowles wanted to make sure he will beat the April 15 tax-filing deadline, he turned to the AARP for help in completing his tax returns.
Knowles is one of many senior citizens in the Meridian area expected to participate in the AARP's tax program at the Meridian/Lauderdale County Library and Trustmark Bank on Highway 19.
AARP volunteers, trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service, help prepare tax returns. Volunteers are at the library 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays and at the bank 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays.
The free and confidential service is available to middle- and low-income people of all ages but with special attention given to anyone 60 years and older.
Genie Durden, a local coordinator for the program, said it has become a popular service. Durden said the program has helped more than 100 people each year in Lauderdale County.
Walter Allen, AARP's district coordinator based in Louisville, said about 400 Lauderdale County residents were assisted last year and just under 10,000 statewide.
People using the service, Durden said, should allow about one hour for their visit. Their tax work could sometimes take about 15 minutes or more, she said, depending on their circumstances.
Myrtle Snider, who is retired after a career in tax services, is in her first year volunteering her skills for AARP.
Volunteer worker Vicki Bartz said the staff primarily handles simple to semi-complex tax returns.