RSVP in­come tax ser­vices avail­able at no cost

Cherokee County Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

Vol­un­teers across the coun­try are busy work­ing to­gether to cre­ate a bet­ter life for all, and right here in Etowah County is no dif­fer­ent. At RSVP (Re­tired & Se­nior Vol­un­teer Pro­gram) in Etowah County se­nior cit­i­zens are busy reach­ing oth­ers through 46 non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions or pro­grams, and one of those pro­grams we call the Tax As­sis­tance Pro­gram, said Traci Pondick, RSVP Di­rec­tor. This pro­gram has been op­er­at­ing through RSVP since 1991.

The Tax As­sis­tance Pro­gram of­fers free tax help to tax­pay­ers, re­gard­less of age, who can­not af­ford pro­fes­sional as­sis­tance, ei­ther by di­rectly pre­par­ing re­turns or teach­ing tax­pay­ers to pre­pare their own re­turns. This year there are 26 RSVP vol­un­teers at eight lo­ca­tions, seven in Etowah County and one in Chero­kee County. Th­ese lo­ca­tions are strate­gi­cally placed for easy ac­cess to the pub­lic, and the vol­un­teers also man­age the sites where they serve.

Many of th­ese vol­un­teers have been with the pro­gram from the be­gin­ning, and this year there are three new vol­un­teers. Vol­un­teers will pre­pare ba­sic tax re­turns and also e-file re­turns, which is the quick­est and safest way to file your taxes.

What vol­un­teers will not do is pre­pare com­pli­cated re­turns, dis­trib­ute tax forms, or ac­cept any kind of com­pen­sa­tion.

The Tax As­sis­tance Pro­gram is af­forded through an IRS grant, a part­ner­ship with Im­pact Alabama, and from the Etowah County Com­mis­sion. The ma­jor ini­tia­tives of this IRS pro­gram are to en­cour­age in­di­vid­u­als to file their fed­eral in­come tax re­turns elec­tron­i­cally and to take ad­van­tage of the Earned In­come Tax Credit (EITC). EITC is the fed­eral govern­ment’s largest ben­e­fit for work­ing peo­ple with low to mod­er­ate in­come. Tax­pay­ers re­ceive as­sis­tance with state re­turns also. How­ever, this year the State of Alabama is re­quir­ing tax pre­par­ers to ver­ify iden­ti­ties by see­ing valid iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (pic­ture driver’s li­cense or non-driv­ers ID). So if you will be fil­ing a state re­turn, please be pre­pared to show the tax pro­fes­sional your ID, and your spouse’s ID if fil­ing a joint re­turn.

Last year RSVP vol­un­teers suc­cess­fully filed 2,054 fed­eral tax re­turns. Th­ese fig­ures do not in­clude state re­turns pre­pared or tax coun­sel­ing pro­vided to in­di­vid­u­als.

Vol­un­teers are at the fol­low­ing lo­ca­tions, days and times:

-Etowah County Court­house, Mon­day through Fri­day, from 10 a.m. un­til 3 p.m., 800 For­rest Ave., Room 205, Gads­den, AL

-Hokes Bluff Wa­ter Dept., Mon­days only, noon un­til 4 p.m., 5720 Gilliland St. Hokes Bluff, AL

- Cen­tre Ad­min­is­tra­tion Bldg, Tues­days only, 10 p.m. un­til 2 p.m., 260 Cedar Bluff Rd., Multi- Pur­pose Room, Cen­tre, AL

-Rain­bow City Comm. Ctr., Wed­nes­days only, noon un­til 4 p.m., 3702 Rain­bow Dr. Rain­bow City, AL

-El­liott Com­mu­nity Ctr., Thurs­days only, 11 a.m. un­til 3 p.m., 2829 W. Meighan Blvd., Alabama City, AL

-Ge­orge Wal­lace Se­nior Ctr., Tues­days and Fri­days, 10 a.m. un­til 2 p.m., 407 Hollingsworth Lane, Glen­coe, AL

- Wal­nut Grove Li­brary, first Wed­nes­day of Fe­bru­ary, March & April, 10 a.m. un­til 2 p.m.

-Fam­ily Suc­cess Cen­ter, Satur­days only, By Ap­point­ment, 821 E. Broad Street 1-888-998-2925

Pick the site that is most con­ve­nient to you, no ap­point­ment nec­es­sary! Th­ese sites will be open through the week of April 15, 2016 and re­mem­ber, this tax help is FREE through RSVP!

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