“I learned that last year we had an accuracy percentage of almost 99 percent,” remarked Richard Robillard, a veteran volunteer for the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Mr. Robillard, the coordinator for the Chester tax preparation location and instructor for volunteers, has been volunteering as a tax preparer for 9 years. This year, there are more than 25 new volunteers in Orange County, who’ll be putting their training into practice starting the first week of February. Richard stressed that only “a few volunteers are CPAs, most are people who enjoy numbers and doing their own taxes.” He said the “fun” part is “the human component, being able to put people at ease when they come in. Many times they’re nervous about having their taxes done.” Last year, Richard and the entire team of Hudson Valley CA$H volunteers helped file 7,977 tax returns, resulting in $6,394,690 in tax refunds and credits to families across Dutchess and Orange counties. This year, Richard hopes they can do even more. If you or someone you know needs help preparing taxes this year, call United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline from 9am to 7pm daily to make your appointment. There are more than 40 locations in our area, so you will find one close to home, staffed by IRS-certified volunteers. For more information, go to www.hv-cash.org.