A local organization is offering senior citizens assistance with preparing their tax returns by eliminating costs and stress.
Auglaize County Council on Aging will be partnering with AARP and will help those over the age of 60 fill out their tax returns. Services will be offered in both Wapakoneta and St. Marys.
AARP District Coordinator Ron Hefner said the AARP members are volunteering to help locals file taxes.
“It’s all volunteer. They’re all community-minded,” Hefner said. “It’s just self satisfaction — knowing you helped people.”
He said many of the people he and his team of volunteers assist are more than 80 years old and are struggling financially.
“I’ve had 80-year-old people that used to farm who used to go to a tax preparer,” Hefner said. “Going to CPA would probably cost them $400 at least.”
Hefner said many people still own their farm, although they no longer work. Many simply rent their land out to other farmers.
“The only thing they have is rent and social security,” Hefner said. “They can’t hardly afford to pay someone $400 to have someone fill out their income tax — those are the kind of people we help. I’ve got several people that fall into that category. We just do it to help people.”
Hefner said he has encountered many people seeking help that cannot afford daily expenses.
“One gentleman only made $400 all year. I said, ‘where do you live?’ He said, ‘I live in my car.’ I couldn’t believe it,” Hefner said.
For the full story, see the Monday, Jan. 20 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.