AARP TAX AIDE – Free Tax Help
Starting February 1, 2018, at First United Methodist Church
Monday through Friday, 9:00 PM to 1:30 PM – No Appointments
This is an FUMC signature mission that has been in continuous operation since tax year 2007, for a total of ten years. Our volunteers prepare tax returns for local people in Lancaster City and the surrounding area at no charge. This tax service is equipped to file electronically for Federal and State returns, and at the same time, prepare paper returns for the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau (LCTCB). We also provide either property tax rebate or rent rebate preparation for low income taxpayers who qualify. The wireless internet infrastructure at FUMC is critical to the success of this mission.
We serve low to middle income (undefined) taxpayers with special emphasis on retirees and the elderly. The scope of the returns we can prepare is defined by the IRS and is quite detailed. We rarely have persons who are out of scope and denied service. Every tax return is mandated to have a quality review by a Team Leader before being electronically filed. The average gross income (AGI) of our clients at FUMC was $19,770 which was slightly less than 2016 We secured more than $1,667,000 in refunds for 1443 clients who filed federal returns at the FUMC tax office.
Our FUMC site is an affiliate of the AARP Foundation and is the largest affiliated site in Eastern Pennsylvania in terms of the number of efiled returns. Our process is 100 percent computer and network based, and runs in a Windows 10 environment running the Taxslayer application and Internet Explorer. We electronically file 99 percent of our tax returns to the IRS.
Tax Ministry Annual Report 2016
Tax Ministry Annual Report 2015
Tax Ministry Annual Report 2014
Tax Ministry Annual Report 2013
For the 2016 tax filing, we had 44 IRS certified tax preparers who qualified at the advanced level. In addition, we had 24 facilitators who review paperwork for completeness and check in clients on a first-come and first served basis. A majority of the volunteers are from the community and all volunteers sign an agreement covering confidentiality and service protocols.
Our plan is to open for business at 9:00 am on February 1st 2018 with 10 computers and a staff of 15. Normal hours are 9 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday.
Interested in becoming certified to join this ministry? If so, call a member of our leadership team: Steve Franz (656-0353), or Ralph Beedle (464-6945) or call one of our site coordinators:
Brethren Village -- Linda Wilson (285-7824)
Grace Community Church -- June Wesbury (464-4560)
Columbia Senior Center -- Nancy McHenry (553-9746)
First UMC Lancaster -- Steve Franz (656-0353) or Frank Geiger (871-9296)
Quarryville Senior Center -- Susan Ryan (529-2875)
Willow Valley Lakes -- Ralph Beedle (464-6945)
Willow Valley North -- Jim Straw (464-6252)
Woodcrest Villa Retirement Community -- Tom Nesbitt (381-7972)