Stacy Azama, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Hawaii
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Hawaii
Summary of Services:We prepare and electronically file federal and Hawaii full-year resident tax returns. Most common tax issues are within the scope of our volunteer training, such as wages, retirement income, self-employment income and expenses (with some restrictions), interest and dividend income, and capital gains. We can also handle most itemized deductions and tax credits. However, some issues are not in scope for our program, such as rental income and expenses, tax credits for solar panels and other energy generating equipment, certain types of less common investment income and expenses, and casualty losses. Also, taxpayers with higher incomes should seek alternative assistance, as our volunteer training may not be sufficient to address their issues.
We also do not provide any kind of tax planning or financial planning advice.
1) It’s not that hard to file your taxes! Besides Tax-Aide, VITA sites can provide free preparation and filing assistance. If you can’t make it to a site or the sites are full, you can also take advantage of free tax software through IRS Free File or My Free Taxes.
2) Electronically file your tax return if at all possible! Due to various issues, including COVID-19 and understaffing, the IRS currently has a backlog of almost 10 million unprocessed returns, most of them paper returns. Most electronically-filed returns are processed within a few days and refunds are almost always issued within 21 days. Also, e-filing will help to identify any potential identity theft issue where someone else may be using your information to file a fraudulent return.
3) The state of Hawaii has various refundable tax credits that you can only get by filing a return before December 31 each year, such as the Food and Excise Tax Credit and the Low-Income Renter Credit. New legislation to make the State Earned Income Credit permanent and refundable has just been passed, and if signed into law, will help working families with an additional refundable credit.
Stacy Azama is a volunteer with the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program in Hawaii. Currently, she is a member of the Hawaii State Management Team of volunteers who coordinate Tax-Aide activities in our state. Stacy's current position is as the State Technology Specialist, administering the various technology aspects of our work, including equipment and software used in tax preparation. She is also heavily involved in training volunteers
and maintaining our state websites.
Stacy began volunteering with Tax-Aide in 2005. Stacy always had a desire for public service, but didn’t have much time for it during her career as a naval officer. She retired from the U.S. Navy in 2001, and after a few years of work as a contractor, she decided to fully retire to spend time with family. She actually started volunteering with the AARP Foundation Driver Safety Program. As a result of her involvement in that program, she met the leaders of Tax-Aide, which is another Foundation program, and became involved in their program as well. Tax-Aide provides free tax preparation and electronic filing services primarily to low and moderate income taxpayers, with a focus on seniors. She gets a lot of satisfaction from assisting individuals get their tax refunds, particularly kupuna and other low-income taxpayers claiming Hawaii refundable tax credits.
Stacy is not a tax professional, nor are the vast majority of our volunteers. We are required to pass tests on our tknowledge of program procedures, policies, and tax issues to be certified to serve as volunteers and program leaders. Training is provided by both the IRS and the Tax-Aide program.
Stacy has just completed her 16th season of service with Tax-Aide. She doesn't have any formal training in tax preparation, but she did do some work with the State Department of Taxation in their auditing department, so she has become familiar with some common taxpayer issues. She has also spent many hours online as a volunteer answering questions regarding tax law submitted to the Tax-Aide program as part of our national Online Tax Assistance program. This requires Stacy to research many tax issues on the internet and the IRS website to provide comprehensive answers to taxpayers. Finally, she spend many hours preparing and revising training materials and conducting volunteer training prior to the start of each tax season, both on tax law and the use of tax software.
Stacy served for 4 years on the Tax-Aide National Technology and Security Committee as one of about 10 volunteers responsible for shaping and executing policies in that area of the program. She was also named a Tax-Aide Fellow in 2021 for contributions to the program. She is also proud of being the creator and administrator of our public website, www.taxaidehi.org as well as a separate private website for our volunteers to make their work easier.
- Because our local organization is entirely staffed by volunteers, we don’t have a business phone number. The best way to contact us locally is by email at [email protected]. AARP has a national phone number that can also be used to request contact from a local volunteer regarding a specific issue: 888-227-7669
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