Need some assistance filing those pesky taxes?
Mike Day is the man for the job.
Moreover, Day has handled volunteer work with the AARP Tax-Aide program since 2008 and every year thereafter, preparing taxes for people. He began as a tax counselor and has held several other positions since, including his present posts—Local Coordinator for the O’Fallon Public Library site and Technical Coordinator for the eight sites in the district.
“It's a good feeling to be able to help people through this annual ritual,” Day said. “Sometimes the opportunity arises to really help someone when you discover an error or oversight in a previous return and can help them get a larger refund. Of course we can't get money for everyone, only for those to whom the refunds or credits are authorized. As an example in my second year on the job I realized an elderly client had been losing out on the chance to recover part of her retirement tax free. I filed amended returns for the three previous years and she got about $700 back. We both felt good about that.”
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Moreover, the AARP Tax-Aide Program is open to help all taxpayers, with emphasis on low to moderate income taxpayers, with special attention to those ages 60 and older.
“We are not restricted by age or income but do have some restrictions as to what we are trained to handle on returns,” Day said. “For example we can’t prepare returns with rental property because of the complexities of depreciation, nor can we prepare returns with self-employed business income if there is inventory involved. Volunteers will be able to help taxpayers with their income tax forms, to include e-filing their return. This a free service sponsored by the AARP Foundation and the IRS.”
Day said Tax-Aide is a nationwide program, with roughly 35,000 volunteers at nearly 5,000 sites across the country. He added that, except for a handful of the top level positions, all the people doing this are volunteers.
In the two local districts that include Bond, Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties, Tax-Aide has 15 sites manned by about 55 volunteers. Most of these people are tax preparers, but Day said a number of them work as client facilitators, serving as greeters and helpers in many areas.
Day continued, stating at least a dozen of these volunteers live in O’Fallon. And the only site in town is operated Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at the O’Fallon Public Library, 120 Civic Plaza. To make an appointment, call 632-3783.
“The library not only provides us the space and internet connection but they also schedule all the appointments for us,” Day said.
Looking back, Day said he handled his own tax returns many years and worked as a professional for one year after retiring from the Air Force. Once he fully retired, Day said he could fit this venture into his schedule.
“It worked out well because most of time of year I work on this is not good biking weather anyway,” he said. “Primarily though, it gives me an outlet to help people. That’s what I really get out of doing this. Filing taxes is a task that many people are just not comfortable doing. Many of them are seniors on fixed incomes or other lower income taxpayers. We prepare the tax returns for them at no cost and help them get all the tax savings or credits available to them. I think most of the volunteers doing this have the same motivation.”
Day retired from the Air Force in 1993 after 22 years of service where he served as a navigator on C-141 and C-130 aircraft for half his career. The other half he served in various positions as a transportation officer including commander of the Transportation Squadron at Grand Forks AFB, ND.
After leaving the AF, Day worked for SRA International from whom he retired in 2007. During that time he worked on several different contracts for DARPA, USTRANSCOM, and AMC.
Day was born and raised in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1971 with a BBA degree in Real Estate and Urban Development as well as a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
He then earned an MBA degree in Transportation Management from the University of Tennessee in 1979 as well as an MA degree in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University in 1994.
Day and his wife Carolyn have been married 44 years. The couple has two adult children, Ben (St. Louis) and Helen (Washington, Ill.). Both are married with their own children. Mike and Carolyn have three grandchildren.
The Days—active members of the First United Methodist Church in O’Fallon where they have served in various positions through the years—have lived in O’Fallon since 1989 when they were first assigned to Scott AFB.
In addition to O’Fallon, in the Air Force, the Days have lived in California, Washington, Guam, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas and North Dakota.
Meet Mike Day:
Do you have words to live by?
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
Whom do you admire most?
If you could spend time with a famous person—past or present—whom would it be and why?
“I’d like to meet Jesus in the flesh to literally experience the presence of God.”
What is the last book you read?
“I think it was ‘Heaven is for Real.’”
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
“When the weather is good I do a lot of bike riding, mostly on the trails in Madison County and sometimes on the KATY trail. During the winter I like to do genealogy research on my family.”
What’s the usual state of your desktop?
“It’s normally rather messy looking with some degree of organization.”
What did you want to do career-wise when you were growing up?
“A truck driver.”
What do you think is your most outstanding characteristic?
“I’m pretty calm.”
What irritates you most?
What kind of music do you listen to?
“Country and Christian, mostly the more classic tunes.”
What do you like most about your job?
“It’s not the pay since this is a volunteer position. I do enjoy helping people and doing taxes gives me the opportunity to do that. Also it’s seasonal work and gives me lots of time to ride my bike.”
If you were independently wealthy, what would you be doing?
“Probably just what I’m doing now.”
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
“I used to fly into typhoons (same as hurricanes) during part of my AF career.”
When they make the movie of your life, who will play you?
“I just can’t imagine anybody making a movie of my life.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what would you like to have with you?