By Amy Doeun
When Jerry Liedl retired from his job working security in St. Paul, he was “looking for a way to give back to his community.”
He was searching for volunteer opportunities on the AARP website, and he came across a local opportunity offering free tax help to seniors. Liedl had little experience doing taxes, except his own for many years, but he decided to give it a try. He has now been volunteering for 10 years.
Each year, Liedl and about 12 other volunteers go through a local training and are recertified. Though there are exams, Liedl said, “It is pretty simple; we don’t do complicated returns.”
The tax aide program is run by the IRS and funded by AARP. The program had been run in North Branch, Mora and Cambridge, but a with a lack of volunteers, they had to close the Cambridge location.
“We could really use some more volunteers — we would love to be able to open the Cambridge office again,” Liedl said.
Liedl said that the reaction and appreciation from the seniors is what keeps him coming back.
“We are really helping them out,” he said.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program offers free tax preparation help to anyone of any age — especially people 50 and older and people who can’t afford paid tax preparation. Volunteer tax preparers will be at the Chisago County Senior Center 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 28 and 29. Call 651-674-8658 to make an appointment.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Liedl at [email protected] or visit www.aarp.org/giving-back.