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It’s hard to imagine a 91-year-old man wanting to do his own income taxes, let along anyone else’s. Friends say that’s why Bill Bold earned the AARP’s highest state honor for volunteer service.
“It’s fun,” Bold said about filing taxes. “I find it interesting, and I always have.”
Bold won the 2012 AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service for his work with a tax aide program out of the Clover Public Library. About 10 volunteers take classes for a week each January, then help seniors with their taxes Feb. 1-April 15. Last year, the group filed close to 300 tax returns.
“I enjoy helping people,” Bold said. “It’s amazing how helpless people seem to be when it comes to taxes. They come to depend on you.”
Gene McCarthy, also a tax aide member, nominated Bold.
“He’s an amazing gentleman,” McCarthy said. “You can’t believe he’s 90 years old.”
Bold did not grow up in the age of computers and laptops, McCarthy noted, but he is unusually adaptable to technology and changes in tax codes.
“You just can’t believe how proficient he is,” McCarthy said. “A lot of folks come in year after year, and they want to work with Bill.”
Bold insists that any of his team members do the same thing, and that the award was perhaps for his having done it the longest — for about 20 years. Bold also says the effort isn’t entirely selfless.
A byproduct of the work each year, he said, is a sharp mind.
“It keeps me on my toes,” he said. “It exercises my mind.”
Adapting to changes each year is a necessity. The group works with seniors from both Carolinas. Some work is done on foreclosures or more complicated issues, but mostly it involves filing W2s.
Still, he said, keeping up with the times is important.
“It’s hard to find a book of instructions and a blank tax form,” Bold said of the trend toward online.
The team works two days each week in four-hour shifts. For more information, visit aarp.org.