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It’s crunch time for Elderly Tax Counseling PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, February 14, 2013 2:12 PM

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DELPHOS — The Delphos Senior Citizen’s Center is offering Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE), which is sponsored by the IRS and is free tax preparation assistance for individuals with moderate to low incomes. The call center is currently scheduling appointments for the end of March through April 8.

The volunteer assistance will help adults with the process of preparing and filing their taxes, ensuring they receive all applicable tax credits and deductions. The result is more discretionary income for everyday essentials, such as food and housing.

Shirley Jarman and Ron Hefner, who received extensive training from H&R Block, will be in charge of the “intake” portion of the program, which requires the following documentation:
- Copies of 2011 tax returns;
- Earnings statements from 2012, including W2’s, 1099R or 1099B, investment income, Social Security;
- Identification information; Social Security card, photo I.D., birth certificate for person taxes are being prepared for;
- Banking information including routing and checking account numbers if using direct deposit; and
- Power of Attorney (POA); 2 copies for those who are not capable of being present. For example, a relative living in a care facility.

The tax forms are prepared on Monday during the intake portion of the program and sent over to the Lima TCE site on Tuesday where they are electronically filed (E-filed). On Monday of the following week, the client (tax filer) attends an exit interview where he or she inspects the forms, asks questions and then signs a release form. The tax filing is complete and the filer can look for their refund to arrive via direct deposit or paper check, whichever they have chosen.

“We do have some stipulations though; things we are not trained on,” Jarman gave details. “We don’t handle income made from rentals or property that depreciates.”
The call center will be open between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily to answer specific tax questions or to set an appointment. At this time, the center is scheduling Monday appointments between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for the last week in March.

Alternately, the Lima TCE site, located at 221 N. Main St., is also taking appointments from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the week. Receptionist Sue John reports that the Lima site has been very busy and people can walk in to set up an appointment.

“We make appointments for Monday through Friday,” John stated. “We are booked until March 22.”

In addition, the Van Wert Council on Aging, located at 220 Fox Road is also taking appointments from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for March 20 and 27. AARP Foundation Representative, Ralph Strope explained the process of filing at the facility. He and another representative work in tandem; one person gets the information from the client, the other inputs it (E-files) into the computer and runs a diagnostic check for any glitches or errors.

“This facility is online with the IRS,” Strope conveyed. “So, after the client verifies their pertinent information and signs a release form, we proceed with E-filing their return. The only thing we charge is a smile and a thank you.”

To schedule an appointment call the Delphos Senior Citizen’s Center at 419-692-1331, the Lima TCE site at 419-225-9405 or the Van Wert Council on Aging at 419-238-5011.

 

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