Tax prep program expands

Published 5:46 pm Friday, January 25, 2013

The Escambia County RSVP and Goodwill Easter Seals partner each year during the tax season to assist low-to-moderate income, the elderly and disabled with free tax preparation and counseling.

The tax preparation is done by volunteers who are trained and certified by the IRS. They prepare both federal and state returns. They also counsel on tax laws and automatically send tax returns to the IRS and Department of Revenue.

Charles Smith, with RSVP said volunteers are looking forward to getting started with the tax returns.

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“We will have an additional site this year,” Smith said. “This year we’ll have a site at Flomaton. The volunteers will be at the Flomaton Library every other Friday, beginning Friday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.”

Goodwill Easter Seals Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will assist the taxpayers who are ages 59 and under. The RSVP Tax Counseling for the Elderly program will assist those taxpayers who are ages 60 and up. VITA began Friday, and TCE will kick off Monday. The free tax service will be provided by appointment only in Atmore and Brewton. The IRS income guideline to receive this free assistance is $51,000 or less per household for the year.

“We have decided to see people by appointment only this year,” said Smith. “The number of people we service has grown to the point that we need to have appointments made before coming in. Our volunteers will be in Brewton on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. In Atmore the only site will be at Creek Indian Enterprises on Brookwood Road. The times are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.”

Those who make an appointment for the service will need to bring with them a picture identification for themselves and their spouses. Bring Social Security cards for all qualified dependents and bring all W-2s, 1099s and other income information for all qualified dependents. They must have information on all deductions and credits for each dependent and a federal and state 2011 tax return if available. The should bring a bank routing number and an account number if they want a direct deposit of federal and state refunds. For those filing jointly, their spouse will need to be present to sign the tax form.

For additional information on either VITA and TCE, please call the RSVP office at 867-0256 and talk to Charles Smith, the volunteer coordinator.