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Free tax help for kupuna on Kaua‘i

KOLOA — Tax deadlines are looming, and a crowd of people braved the winds of the Kona low on Wednesday to wait their turn for help, including tax preparation and e-filing by AARP Tax-Aide volunteers at the Koloa Neighborhood Center.

“Tax help for kupuna 60 years and above is available on Kaua‘i,” said Coleen Kasperek, a Tax-Aide volunteer, who has teamed with her husband Brian to lead the Kaua‘i effort for the past 20 years.

“This free service is available, according to the Tax-Aide website, for low- and middle-income tax filers, with special attention to those aged 60 years and older. Today is Wednesday, so we’re at the Koloa Neighborhood Center from 9 to 11 a.m. … Thursday, we’re at the Kaumakani Neighborhood Center,” Coleen Kasperek said.

Eligible tax filers can visit the Hanapepe Public Library on March 20, 27, 31, and April 3 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Other sites around Kaua‘i include the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center on March 15, the Kekaha Neighborhood Center on March 16, the Koloa Neighborhood Center on March 22, and the Kaumakani Neighborhood Center on March 23.

The Lihu‘e Neighborhood Center will host the Tax-Aide volunteer crew of seven, excluding the Kaspereks, on March 21 and 28, and April 4 from 9 to 11 a.m.

“Protocol says we can’t turn anyone away,” Coleen Kasperek said. “But visit the website to find out the documentation you’ll need to have your taxes prepared. We pretty (much) can do all the taxes except for the very complicated ones.”

Additionally, there is no AARP membership requirement, the website states.

The Tax-Aide program works with seven volunteers who are IRS-certified and trained, including two who joined this year. “We’re always looking for more people who want to volunteer to help people. People can visit the website and register. We did away with the appointments, so everything is on a first-come-first-serve basis,” she said.

“We were taking appointments, but had people not showing up for their reserved times, and even now, we can say 11:30 a.m., but we get people showing up at 11:25 expecting to get their returns done. People need to realize that it takes about a half hour to get a simple return done.”
Source: The Garden Island

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