The last time Diana Canavan prepared her own income taxes, he mistakenly wrote on the wrong line.

"Then, we got a letter from the IRS saying we owed $100,000," she said. "We were just in shock."

Lesson learned, Canavan was among those at getting free help Thursday from AARP's Tax-Aide program.

More than 100 trained and IRS-certified local volunteers are staffing 13 locations in Bexar County, assisting low-income and moderate-income folks deal with all those W-2, 1099 and other tax forms.

While the volunteers are trained to do more than basic returns, they do not work on extremely complicated finances, according to Ed Orrbach, AARP Tax-Aide volunteer at the Warm Springs  Center, 5101 Medical Drive.

"We do the average tax return with interest, dividends, a few stock transactions, pensions, Social Security income and things like that," Orrbach said.

The program is open to people of all ages but focuses on the 60-plus crowd. For many, figuring taxes has become too complicated and hiring a professional can be unaffordable.

Herlinda Cantu said she is grateful to have the help.

"I would have to do it myself, and sometimes I am not too sure I'm doing it correctly," she said. "So I feel more safe."

For more information: or call 210-348-8684.


  • University City Library, 100 Northview
  • Kirby Senior Center, 3211 Alan Shepard
  • Wonderland Mall; Randolph AFB Retiree Office
  • AARP, 8507 McCullough Ave. Ste. C9
  • Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center, 517 SW Military Dr.
  • Bob Ross Senior Center, 2219 Babcock
  • Oasis at Warm Springs, 5101 Medical Dr.
  • First Baptist Church Universal City, 1401 Pat Booker
  • The Waterford, 4243 Thousand Oaks Dr.

Some locations require appointments while others allow walk-ins. Clients should bring picture identification, Social Security card, last year's tax return and all pertinent financial documents.