Privacy data concerns bother critics of AARP's free tax clinics in York County and greater Pennsylvania

Senior citizens around the state of Pennsylvania can get help with their tax preparation and filing this year, particularly in Lewiston and York.  These communities will have volunteers with the AARP Tax-Aide program, and in 16 different locations throughout York County, according to a Feb. 5 report in the York Dispatch.  

Although AARP sponsors these tax preparation clinics, participants do not have to be AARP members, and groups are raising concerns about data safety and privacy when it comes to free clinics like this.

The 60 Plus Association wants area residents to understand that they see issues to be concerned about in the AARP Tax-Aide program. Those concerns include policies that could force millions of individuals to disclose their personal information to AARP without protecting their rights, and there are also concerns about the potential that individuals’ private data could be sold to outside entities without explicit permission. The 60 Plus Association notes that policies in the Tax-Aide program give AARP access to quite a bit of personal information, from addresses and phone numbers to social security numbers and even full tax returns.

On Feb. 10, James Martin, Chairman and Founder of the American Association of Senior Citizens issued a statement.

“There are some very serious red flags regarding the AARP’s tax program, and America’s seniors should be extremely cautious when considering whether or not to participate. Volunteers within the program itself have raised significant data and privacy concerns and seniors should be aware of these issues as they make decisions regarding their tax filings,” he said in a news release.

AARP is sponsoring tax preparation athe locations below:

  • Messiah United Methodist Church: 717-771-9042
  • York Alliance Church: 717-771-9042
  • Union Fire Company: 717-771-9042
  • Aldersgate United Methodist Church:  717-771-9042
  • Crispus Attucks: 717-771-9042
  • St. Matthew Lutheran Church (York) 717-771-9042
  • Red Land Senior Center: 717-938-4649  
  • Dover Township Library: 717-292-6814
  • Eastern Area Senior Center: 717-252-1641
  • Shrewsbury Grace UM Church:   717-993-3488
  • Hanover Church of the Brethren: 717-633-6353
  • Golden Connections Community Center: 717-244-7229
  • Windy Hill on the Campus: 717-225-0723                                                                  
  • Wrightsville Hope UM Church: 717-252-1641
  • Dillsburg Senior Center: 717-432-2216
  • White Rose Senior Center: 717-843-9704
  • Delta Senior Center: 717-456-5753
  • Northeastern Senior Center: 717-266-1400

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