For the past 25 years, Bob Schmidt has made Tax Day a little easier for residents across the state.
As a volunteer with AARP Tax-Aide, a free tax assistance and preparation service, Schmidt has filled out a countless number of 1040 forms, extensions and trained other volunteers in the program.
On April 19, Schmidt was honored for his years of dedicated service with a Jan Cooper Certificate of Appreciation at a luncheon at the Elks Lodge in Payson.
“Your willingness to work with others and to share your experience is one of your strongest values,” said Roberto Sanchez, AARP Tax-Aide District 10 coordinator. “You have trained countless volunteers during your 25 years in the program and I have heard many favorable comments on your methods of training, which are still being used today.”
Schmidt became a volunteer in the tax program in 1986 after working 35 years in the banking business.
Looking for something to do, Schmidt became a Tax-Aide counselor, filling out tax forms by hand, Sanchez said.
Around 1990, a local coordinator “up and quit and since Bob was the longest working volunteer, he became the local coordinator and district coordinator,” Sanchez said.
When AARP began using computers to file returns, Schmidt helped establish the “tree” tool, which made it easier for counselors to fill out returns.
As a district coordinator for Payson, Winslow, Show Low, Springerville and Snowflake, Schmidt was responsible for ensuring all sites had required publications, equipment and supplies.
“Because of him, I can safely say that the Payson site is the best site in the state,” Sanchez said.
During his tenure as district coordinator, the IRS never visited any of the sites overseen by Schmidt because they were so well managed.
“Your leadership has been greatly appreciated by all of us,” Sanchez said.
Diane Pearson, AARP Arizona Tax-Aide state coordinator, presented Schmidt with a certificate at the luncheon.
Last year, Pearson said at 89 Tax-Aide sites around the state, 1,127 volunteers helped complete 43,000 e-file returns for 80,000 residents.
For more information about becoming a local AARP Tax-Aide volunteer, call (888) OUR-AARP.