Taxed with a mission

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Volunteers that took part in this year's AARP tax preparation have their celebration breakfast Tuesday at Accentra Credit Union. -- Eric Johnson/

AARP volunteers help elderly, poor prepare taxes

People have to tackle the inconvenience of filing taxes every year; but for some unfortunate citizens, others have come to the rescue.

For roughly 20 years, locals have been voluntarily preparing taxes for elderly, the poor and others who can’t prepare their own taxes or afford to. The volunteers serve through the AARP Tax-Aide program.

“We get young kids in here, students coming in, single mothers; it’s a cross section of the community,” said Lucy Gotz, one of the oranizers of the service.

Paul Knorr, President and CEO of Accentra Credit Union, accepts a thank-you letter with the names of the AARP tax prepares that took part in this year's volunteer tax preparation service. - Eric Johnson/

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And for nine years, those volunteers have been able to lend their skills with the help of Accentra Credit Union. The Austin Bank has been donating it’s basement space for the volunteers. The volunteers need all the space they can get because they have more than 25 people in their group who see a slew of tax forms each year.

The bank has even donated some of its own professional help toward the cause. Paul Knorr, President and CEO of Accentra Credit Union, has donated his own time to prepare taxes.

That’s something the group needed this year, as it completed hundreds of tax forms.

“Guess what, Paul’s right in there doing (taxes) like the rest of the people,” said Merlyn Sellers, another event organizers. Sellers is also proud of the continued individual efforts.

“I think we’ll have to close the gate going south and keep these guys doing taxes next February,” he said.

Sellers and Gotz thanked Knorr at Accentra Tuesday morning during a celebration and breakfast in honor of everyone’s efforts.

“It’s an excellent service to our community,” Knorr said. “It’s very needed.”

Several volunteers had already mentioned they’ll be back for next year’s tax service, continuing what has become a tradition for them.