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Friday, 01 April, 2011

REI Tour Partner Accounting Aid Society's Volunteer Tax Center Featured in the Detroit Free Press

The Accounting Aid Society, one of the REI Tour's Detroit partners, was featured in the Detroit Free Press this weekend in an article that highlight's AAS's volunteer tax services. Long time volunteers Debbie Hunter and Mark Rothenhauser were profiled. Read an excerpt below or visit the Detroit Free Press website to read the story in it's entirety.


Debbie Hunter, who works in sales for auto supplier Henkel, has no desire to calculate her own taxes this year or any year.

But Hunter was cheerfully sitting in front of a computer looking at W-2 forms and shuffling through someone else's paperwork on a partially sunny Saturday morning at the Center Line Parks and Recreation Building.

Mark Rothenhauser, who is legally blind and sells coffee and snacks at the Capitol in Lansing by day, uses a special computer system to prepare tax returns.

  Photo of Legally blind volunteer Mark Rothenhauser reading computer screen
"It looks a little weird, but I get the job done," Rothenhauser said.

Who wants to do taxes, really? But this tax season, Hunter and Rothenhauser will join more than 2,000 people in metro Detroit volunteering to prepare tax returns for free for people in need.

They come from all walks of life -- engineers, sales people, tax pros, students, retired Teamsters, an executive from the Detroit Red Wings organization.

Teresa Pyles, 36, is grateful. Hunter has just told the waitress from Doc's Good Food in Warren that she's receiving a $252 tax refund.

"Every little dollar makes a big difference," said Pyles, who saves change during the year to spend on summer activities for her 14-year-old son. Last summer, that change covered a visit to the Henry Ford Museum.

"Everything adds up; every little penny," she said.

Read the complete article "Tax Return Volunteers Come to the Rescue" online at the Detroit Free Press website.

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