2002-12-21 / Community

Free Tax Help For Elderly

Free Tax Help For Elderly

Free Tax Help For Elderly

Need help with your taxes? Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (TCE) volunteers, certified by the Internal Revenue Service, are providing free assistance in preparing state and federal tax forms to low income taxpayers and to those 60 years of age or older, unemployed or disabled. Bilingual volunteers are available in some areas.

RSVP/TCE has offered free tax preparation assistance for the past 16 years. Assistance with taxes, including with Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and IRS e-file is available at 150 sites throughout New York City through April 15, 2002.

"IRS e-file enables city residents to have their tax forms transmitted directly to the IRS, cutting in half the time it takes to receive a refund," said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society. "The RSVP e-file program provides a free service to underprivileged city residents and elderly who often cannot afford help with their tax returns. Now people with modest means can have access to the latest tax technology and assistance. Some commercial tax preparers may charge upwards of $25 for the electronic filing service."

In addition, RSVP volunteers can help determine eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Those eligible for EITC are working families with more than one child earning less than $34,178 annually, families with one child earning less than $30,201 annually and individuals 24 and over making less than $11,060 annually.

Last year, RSVP’s TCE volunteers helped 13,000 individuals prepare their returns, saving them thousands of dollars in tax preparation fees. "RSVP encourages city residents to use the free tax assistance and IRS e-filing service. Those who use IRS e-file reduce the chance of errors in their tax returns or the possibility their returns would be lost or misdirected in the mail," Jones concluded.

Established thirty-six years ago, the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program is one of the oldest adult volunteer programs in the nation. Its 9,000 volunteers contribute more than two million hours of service annually in 600 organizations in New York City.

RSVP is part of the Community Service Society of New York, a nonprofit organization, which advocates on behalf of the poor in areas of education, affordable housing, health care and income maintenance. RSVP is funded by CSS, the Corporation for National Service, other government agencies, foundations, individuals and the Friends of RSVP, Inc. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program is funded by the IRS. For more information visit www.cssny.org.

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