RSVP income tax services available at no cost
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!