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Free service and professionals offer tax help

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Taxpayers need not fear the looming April 15 deadline for tax-return filing if they plan ahead. There are plenty of local options for getting tax returns done, including a free service at the Loomis Library provided by volunteers. The free tax preparation is being offered through a nationwide program called Tax-Aide that is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and the American Association of Retired People. Volunteers initially receive 10 full days of training to become IRS-certified, then must take an additional six days of training each year. The returns are filed electronically and tax refunds are often received the next week. Jim Chimera coordinates the program in Loomis. He and four other retirees volunteer their time to prepare up to 325 tax returns. Chimera, who lives in Loomis, said most people they do taxes for have very little income. “People are very grateful,” Chimera said of the service. According to Chimera, the ages of those who seek their service range from 18 to 93 and their returns run the gamut from simple to some with lots of deductions. “The only returns we can’t do are for people with income property,” he said. Some appointments are still available, but must be made in advance by calling 652-5130. Richard Riley, certified public accountant, and his wife, Gloria, both prepare taxes and share an office on Taylor Road. Gloria Riley prepares taxes through her business, Milagro Tax Service. She speaks Spanish and is part of an IRS outreach to the Hispanic community. She has a special permit through the IRS as a Certifying Acceptance Agent, which means she can provide Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers to those who do not have one and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number. Richard Riley has been a Certified Public Accountant for 30 years and specializes in working with small businesses and the self-employed. He and Gloria relocated their offices from Rocklin almost three years ago. “Getting proper advice is more important now than ever. I advise clients on finance and business in addition to giving tax advice,” Richard Riley said. He said that as a bi-product of getting their taxes done he also advises people experiencing “financial distress.” “I’m able to advise them on how to recover and improve their condition,” he said. Appointments with Gloria Riley at Milagro can be made by calling 652-7964. Richard Riley can be reached at 652-7388. John Rose and his nephew Grant Rose are pulling down long days to complete tax returns for their clients at Rose & Rose Income Tax Preparation. John Rose, who is an enrolled agent and owns the business, reportedly works up to 20 hours a day during tax season, which typically runs from Feb. 1 to April 15. Appointments can be made by calling 652-9254. Sabrina Higby, formerly with Rose & Rose, has gone out on her own and has offices at Hebard Insurance. She has been preparing income tax returns since 2001. “We can take walk-ins, but appointments are better,” Higby said. More information and appointments are available by calling 580-6384. All of the tax preparers encourage filers to make appointments now and not wait until the last moment.