By Roger Marks
AARP Foundation Tax Aide 

A message from the new AARP Tax-Aide Anchorage coordinator


November 1, 2021 | View PDF

Many of you for years have had your tax returns prepared by Jan Watson, AARP Foundation Tax Aide Anchorage coordinator. She was a familiar face at the AARP State Office and Anchorage Senior Activity Center. Jan took a well-deserved retirement this year and moved to the Lower 48. I was asked, and agreed, to fill her role. These will be big shoes to fill, and I am still on my learning curve.

I have been with the program for eight years, and have prepared returns at most sites in Anchorage. I have coordinated the Spenard Recreation Center site for five years. As background, I was a tax economist with the Alaska Department of Revenue for 25 years.

I believe strongly in the Tax Aide program, as do our volunteers. Our objective will continue to be preparing accurate returns for taxpayers in a timely, safe and courteous manner.

Last year was very challenging for everyone. Our primary goal was to keep taxpayers and volunteers safe. Unfortunately, this added to the complexity of preparing returns, which reduced the number we could complete. It is unclear at this time which tax preparation delivery model will be in place for the upcoming year, but again, safety will be the priority.

The program can only be as successful as the number of tax preparation volunteers we have. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is now recruiting for volunteers for the upcoming 2022 season.

No prior tax experience is necessary, and all the training materials are provided. Volunteers should enjoy talking to people and feel comfortable asking questions, have basic computer literacy, and be willing to refer to resource materials for tax law. Training is free and starts in December. You will use your own computer for training and, once you are certified, AARP will issue you a laptop for tax preparation. Bilingual volunteers are needed.

There are several Tax-Aide sites in Anchorage, Eagle River and Chugiak that are open various days and evenings and different hours of the week. Volunteer hours are flexible.

If you have questions about becoming a volunteer, please send an email to Visit to fill out a volunteer application or learn more about the program.


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