Tax Volunteers go the Extra Mile

Sheldon Barasch, holding tax papers, stands next to Bobby Idowu. Both are smiling under their masks.
Sheldon Barasch of Community Tax Aid (left) with Top Opportunities member Bobby Idowu

Tax season is always a little stressful, but this year was especially so. We’re grateful to the volunteers at Community Tax Aid for going above and beyond to help members of our community file their returns.  

Longtime volunteer tax preparers Bill Charlton, Ozzie Frankel, Sheldon Barasch and Marcia Greenberg usually do their work in person at our Bernie Wohl Center. This year, of course, extra precautions were required. The volunteers proposed their own plan to complete the work via pickup and drop-off locations. They coordinated with Goddard staffers to get the right paperwork to the right people, and stayed in close touch throughout the process to manage the information flow as they completed the forms.

The volunteers helped some 35 members of our TOP Opportunities program and TOP Clubhouse file their taxes, along with well over 100 local residents and Goddard employees. Deborah Kaplan of TOP-OP and Brenda Delgado of our Beacon program oversaw operations on Goddard’s end, and TOP-OP staff helped the members organize their information.

In case the pandemic wasn’t enough of a challenge, this tax year had a lot of oddities: two stimulus checks, pandemic-related unemployment income, changing tax laws regarding unemployment mid-stream, and an extended due date. Some returns that were prepared earlier had to be redone due to these changes.

“In these challenging times, it’s wonderful to know that Goddard has so many terrific members from the community who are willing to go out of their way to give of their time and expertise,” said Kaplan.