Free tax assistance is available for seniors

Free tax-pre­par­a­tion as­sist­ance is avail­able for seni­or cit­izens and mod­er­ate-to-low-in­come people at the May­or’s Of­fice of Com­munity Ser­vices site at 2049 Cottman Ave. in Rhawn­hurst.

Vis­it­ors also will get faster ac­cess to re­funds and learn how to bet­ter handle their fin­ances. They’ll be able to cash their re­fund checks at no cost at the site or at des­ig­nated PNC Bank branches.

The of­fice is staffed by PNC Bank em­ploy­ees and mem­bers of the In­tern­al Rev­en­ue Ser­vice’s Vo­lun­teer In­come Tax As­sist­ance pro­gram.

The as­sist­ance gen­er­ally is for people who earn less than $51,000 a year.

VITA vo­lun­teers en­sure that work­ers who qual­i­fy re­ceive the Earned In­come Tax Cred­it, which can mean up to $5,891 for fam­il­ies with three or more qual­i­fy­ing chil­dren and up to $475 for people without chil­dren.

In­di­vidu­als who vis­it a VITA site should bring their wages and earn­ings state­ments from all em­ploy­ers (Form W-2), in­terest state­ments from banks (Form 1099) and a copy of their pre­vi­ous year’s tax re­turn.

“Tax fil­ing can be an in­tim­id­at­ing and com­plex pro­cess,” said Car­ol Lawrence, mar­ket man­ager for PNC Com­munity De­vel­op­ment Bank­ing. “PNC re­mains com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing no-cost tax-fil­ing ser­vices for tax­pay­ers, and as­sist­ing un­banked con­sumers in eco­nom­ic­ally chal­lenged com­munit­ies.”

Oth­er VITA sites in Phil­adelphia are 1952 E. Al­legheny Ave.; 1113 Chest­nut St.; 1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave., Temple Uni­versity’s Ritter An­nex, 5th Floor; 2029 S. 8th St.; 235 W. Chel­ten Ave.; 428 N. 41st St.; 4117 Lan­caster Ave.; 1529 N. 22nd St.; 5649 Chris­ti­an St.; and 926 W. Al­legheny Ave.

There are also sites in Wil­low Grove, Nor­ris­town, Holmes and Cam­den, N.J.

The cen­ters will be open through April 15. Hours of op­er­a­tion are week­days from 2 to 7 p.m. and Sat­urdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No ap­point­ment is ne­ces­sary. ••

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