Volunteers like June Wesbury, Bob Bugel, and Ann Coleman, help people with their taxes through the TaxAide program all at no cost. These services are completely free. In 2015, more than 3000 federal returns were prepared resulting in more than two million dollars in refunds and earned income tax credits plus state, township and rent rebate returns.
Tax-Aide is the largest free, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service in the nation. According to the AARP, the Tax-Aide program is offered at approximately 6,500 locations nationwide in senior centers, libraries, community centers, and other convenient locations. Thousands of low- and moderate-income taxpayers and seniors depend on the Tax-Aide program for help in filing their federal, state, and local tax returns.
June Wesbury, together with Bob Bugel and Don Hallman started the AARP TaxAide services at Willow Valley in 2005.
For most accounting professionals, tax season ends with a sigh of relief on April 15. But not for June Wesbury. June, who is a retired C.P.A. and Willow Valley Communities resident, volunteers year-round as Lancaster County’s regional coordinator for the AARP Tax-Aide program.
June first volunteered with the Tax-Aide program while living in Arizona. “I wanted to use my energy, my talents and my time,” she says. “I discovered the AARP Tax-Aide program, took the test, passed it, and started to volunteer. Before I knew it, I was the local coordinator in Scottsdale. I did that for six years.”
When June and her husband moved to Willow Valley five years ago, she connected with two other Residents, Bob Bugel and Don Hallman, who had also done AARP taxes, one in North Carolina and one in West Chester, Pa. “We started to do returns here at Willow Valley under the VITA program. Doing returns at Willow Valley was wonderful, but we knew there was such a need for a tax service in downtown Lancaster for inner city, low-income people.” It wasn’t long before June and her husband purchased three computers and set up a Tax-Aide site in a church in downtown Lancaster.
Kudos to Willow Valley residents who volunteer their time for this much needed, helpful program.
May, 2016 Update: June Westbury provided a report on the AARP TAXAIDE Volunteer Income Tax preparations program. This year the program served 4000 clients with 80 volunteers at 8 sites around the county.