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CESI Teamed with AARP to Provide Free Tax Assistance to Seniors for Third Consecutive Year

Contact: Tracy East -- (919) 861-5327,

Non-profit organization assisted 257 Raleigh-area seniors prepare returns for 2013 tax year

Raleigh, NC (April 22, 2013) – Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI), a non-profit service provider of comprehensive financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones, worked with AARP to offer free tax preparation services for the 2013 tax year. Since its inception in 1998, CESI has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide improve their money management skills and experience debt-free living, and this is the third year in a row CESI has worked with AARP to provide the free tax preparation service.

CESI saw a significant increase in the number of Raleigh-area residents that took advantage of the service this year over last year. This year, CESI employees prepared tax returns for 257 clients, compared with 173 the previous year. The average age of the client was 59, but more than half of clients were over age 60. CESI has a strong history of providing financial education and services to this demographic; the Assure Money Services program offers counseling, secure bill payment, and other financial assistance for older adults, persons with disabilities and their caregivers.

Five CESI employees volunteered to provide the tax service to local residents. This year, those five volunteers donated 707 hours of labor in training and preparing the tax returns. This amounts to roughly $10,000 worth of labor that CESI employees provided as a way to give back to the community and especially to local seniors.

Because tax laws are complex and frequently changing, many seniors have relied on the help of CESI’s volunteers to help them determine whether or not they even need to file a return, find the correct forms to fill out, find deductions, and to help them better understand their taxes for the next tax year. “I have volunteered for two years now and have seen some of the same clientele returning from previous years,” said Edie Peterson-Cano, a CESI counselor and tax prep volunteer. “I’ve found that seniors are very appreciative of the services we provide. Since a lot of them live on their retirement money or Social Security, a big question they have is whether or not they even need to file taxes, and if so, what type of tax needs to be paid.”

The average refunds clients received were $1,352 from the federal government and $328 from the state government. CESI employees were trained to help clients maximize their deductions to receive the highest refunds possible. The free tax preparation is another of the many services offered to realize CESI’s goal of enhanced economic security for all.

“What our employees have done demonstrates CESI’s mission in giving back to our local communities and special needs groups, particularly moderate and low-income seniors,” said Dr. Diane Chen, CEO of CESI. “We have enjoyed providing this service to give back to our community for the last three years.”

CESI is a non-profit organization that helps consumers achieve financial freedom by offering a complete life cycle of services: debt management, student loan counseling, housing counseling, credit counseling, services for employees, caregivers, and other groups, and financial education and benefits counseling. For more information, please visit or call 1-855-716-2451.

Filed Under: News and Press

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