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RSM Gives Free Help to Tax-Challenged Locals
by: Debbie L. Sklar

It's the time of the year we love to hate. The most necessary of evils and the most time consuming, pain in the neck, ruin-your-day type of thing: taxes. 

And even though April 15 is a few months away, it’s never too early to start getting ready for tax season. If you can get the help you need, free of charge, why not jump on the early bandwagon?

Thanks to The City of Rancho Santa Margarita, The Bell Tower Foundation and the AARP Tax Aide group it is possible.

Being offered is the “Tax Preparation Assistance” program Feb. 3- April 14. The Tax Preparation Assistance program is a free program providing assistance in filing federal and state income tax returns for low and moderate-income taxpayers. All residents in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita and surrounding communities are invited to take advantage of the program free of charge.

Those interested can attend each Wednesday from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. however; you must make an appointment to avoid waiting and to receive one-on-one service.

Call Karen Hume with The Bell Tower Foundation at 949.216.9700 extension 1254. At that time further information will be provided to ensure eligibility requirements are met and to inform you of the specific documents that are required to be brought to your scheduled appointment.

The tax returns will be prepared in the COX Communications Technology Center located in the Bell Tower Regional Community Center located at 22232 El Paseo, (Civic Plaza) Rancho Santa Margarita.

Also on hand will be specially trained and certified Internal Revenue Service volunteers to help with federal and state tax returns. All tax returns will be E-filed to ensure a high degree of accuracy and clients can expect quick refunds through direct deposit. Tax forms to the public and answer general tax questions on a “walk-in” basis will be available.

Debbie L. Sklar is a 20+year journalism veteran residing in Southern California, where she is a writer, columnist and editor for many local, regional and national publications. Sklar may be reached via e-mail at

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