Help is on the way for residents of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta trying to file their taxes, and some of that help is coming from across the continent. New York University law school students have volunteered to help file taxes in 28 communities in the Delta.
It is part of the volunteer tax assistance program created by the Alaska Business Development Center in Anchorage. The idea of sending people out to rural communities to help file tax returns began 10 years ago, after it became clear that commercial fishermen and rural Alaskans, especially the elderly, were have a tough time complying with the Internal Revenue Service requirements.
On Thursday, March 16, volunteers will set up at the Long House Hotel in Bethel to help people with tax preparation from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. They plan to continue Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and again on Saturday, March 19 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
During the last 10 years, the volunteer tax program has assisted 10,500 Alaskan taxpayers. Twelve-hundred are seniors and 450 are commercial fishermen.
The group's remaining trips include:
Newtok: Mar. 10-12
Emmonak: Mar. 12-15
Goodnews Bay: Mar. 12-15
Kotlik: Mar. 15-18
Platinum: Mar. 15-16
Bethel: Mar. 16-18