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Feeling taxed to the max?

DETROIT LAKES - Yes, tax season is upon us once again. And Mahube Community Council and AARP Tax Aide Assistance are here to help.

Ten volunteers housed in Mahube are ready to assist with tax return forms. Volunteers are available to do federal, state, rent and property tax refunds, although they do not work on filing for businesses.

"We don't exclude anyone, no income limitations, but we're more for elderly and lower income," Dave Birchem said. Birchem has volunteered with the program for nearly 10 years. The RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) volunteers have been helping prepare tax returns for at least 25 years, RSVP Director at Mahube Karen Lenius said.

Volunteers work three days a week in the Detroit Lakes Mahube office, the Mahnomen office and the Detroit Lakes library. All appointments need to be made through the Mahube office at 847-1385 or 1-888-458-1385. Appointments in Mahnomen can be scheduled at 218-935-5002.

Last year, in Becker County alone, volunteers filed 1,200 tax returns for clients. That translated into $964,000 in returns for those clients.

Returns are mostly filed online, which have a one- to two-week return, with a couple exceptions for paper filing. Lenius said it's that one- to two-week return why RSVP uses the Internet.

"Refunds come in a more timely way," she said.

RSVP volunteers are re-certified each year due to constant changes in tax laws, she said.


One of the more important parts of tax filing, Birchem said, is the Earned Income Tax Credit.

"It can be substantial refunds," he said. Even if a family or individual doesn't have a large income, the credit is based on income and could "benefit if they have earned income."

Appointments begin on Monday -- Mahube had already set up 56 appointmen ts as of last Tuesday -- and go through April 15. There is no charge for the service, but it is encouraged for taxpayers of all ages with low to middle income.

The "expertise and years of experience," Lenius said, make her team such a successful unit.

Those coming in to Mahube for a tax appointment must bring Social Security cards for everyone included on the tax return. If you are receiving SS benefits, bring form SSA1099. Also bring 2006 income tax return and current tax materials to the appointment.