The Ohio Society of CPAs and the California Society of CPAs have launched programs with the National Guard to provide tax assistance to military families.

The Ohio CPAs' program, "Operation CPA," offers Ohio National Guard and reserve service members assistance deployed outside of Ohio free tax-preparation for the 2005 filing season from CPA volunteers. Currently, there are more than 2,800 deployed Ohioans.

"Deployed service members have many challenges to deal with professionally and personally, and income tax return preparation is just one more thing to worry about," said president and chief executive Clarke Price, in a statement. "We know that the prospect of filing a tax return can be a significant concern to service members and their families. That's where Operation CPA comes in."

Under the Operation CPA program, military personnel who are Ohio residents currently deployed outside of the state will qualify for free preparation of their 2005 local, state and federal personal income tax returns. The qualified service member, their spouse or family member simply needs to contact the Ohio Society to request assistance. They will then be matched up with a CPA in their geographic area.

In cooperation with the California National Guard's "Operation Ready Family" program, members of the CalCPAs are offering similar free tax counseling services to military personnel and their families at National Guard armories throughout the state.

CalCPA and Operation Ready Family have scheduled tax counseling sessions at 14 locations throughout California, including Chico, Seaside, Paso Robles, Long Beach and Glendale -- all locations near training bases and military stations.

"Dozens of CPAs have volunteered to provide pro bono tax counseling services to military personnel and their families," said CalCPA chief operating officer Loretta Doon, in a statement. "Their participation in this program is just one aspect of CalCPA's efforts to reach out to Californians to help improve their financial well being."

More information is available at the state societies' Web sites, www.ohioscpa.com (Ohio), and www.calcpa.org (California).

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