RSVP offering county seniors tax assistance

Published 12:10 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

The Retired Senior and Volunteer Program (RSVP) for Escambia County is now in one of its busiest seasons. During the first few months of the year, these volunteers are available to help the elderly prepare their tax forms.

“We started on Monday of this week,” Amy Cooley, director of the Escambia County RSVP, said. “So far we have only a few that have come by or called for appointments. As time goes by it will be more difficult to fit everyone in.”

The workers that will be available to help know what they are doing. All of the volunteers who work with the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) have been trained and certified. This is a service offered to those who are over the age of 60 with an annual income of $49,000 or less.

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Those who are using the service are asked to bring a picture identification for both spouses (if married); Social Security number for both spouses and dependents; information for all deductions and credits; verification of receipt of the $250 Economic Recovery Payment for 2010; a copy of Federal and State 2009 tax return and a bank routing number and account number for direct deposit of federal and state refund.

The tax sites are Brewton Public Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Brewton Public Library from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Call 867-0256 to make an appointment. The site for Atmore is at the Atmore Courthouse Satellite office from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. Call 251-368-1032, ext. 102. The site at Poarch Creek Indian  Reservation will be held on Mondays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information on that site, call 251-368-9136, ext. 2209.

Other entities connected with the RSVP, such as Area Agency on Aging are utilizing this time to help identify and help those who are eligible for public and private benefits, but not receiving them. This service is also free to the elderly. Another agency is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) which can offer services to those who are less than 60 years old. The sites available for the VITA program are Community Action Agency from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays at Freemanville Head Start at 251-368-3996, Brewton Head Start at 251-867-9522 of the Brewton office at 251-867-4759; Empowerment Tabernacle in Atmore and speak to Shinora Redmond at 251-368-5195 or 251-510-6684; Goodwill Easter Seals by appointments only at Goodwill Store on Douglas Avenue, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon, and every other Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.; and at Poarch on Thursdays from 9 a.m. until noon and on Fridays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

For any additional information, call the RSVP at the office in Brewton at 251-867-0256.