Local RSVP offering tax filing assistance


Every year, the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Etowah County (RSVP) uses the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs to assist low income or senior citizen taxpayers who cannot afford to pay a tax preparer.  Under these programs, low to moderate income and senior citizen taxpayers may obtain free tax assistance and e-filing.

RSVP recruits volunteers and locations and conducts training to provide this service, while the IRS provides the training material and software.  Generally, volunteers can prepare straightforward individual tax returns, state returns and electronically file returns. E-filing is the quickest and safest way to file an income tax return.

“RSVP and the IRS have partnered to offer these programs since 1990 in Etowah and Cherokee counties, and we’re always trying to bring the program to people who can use this service,” said RSVP Director Traci Pondick. “All of our volunteers are trained and certified before beginning tax preparation. Our volunteers include retired professionals and administrative workers who are passionate about helping people.”

Some local partners of this VITA/TCE program have found that this is an opportunity to promote other financial stability services, such as home buying assistance, GED programs, and emergency food or shelter programs. This program ensures that people keep more of their tax return for themselves. Since it is a free service, clients do not pay return preparation fees or refund anticipation loan fees.

Taxpayers must bring a photo ID (driver’s license or non-driver ID), social security cards for anyone listed on the tax return, birth dates for everyone reported on the tax return, a copy of last year’s tax returns; pertinent information about income, including W-2 and 1099 forms along with information on cash income received; amounts paid for day care and the day care’s identifying number; and a check or some type of printout from bank with routing and account numbers (if choosing direct deposit or direct withdrawal).

This year’ service begins Monday, January 29. The schedule is as follows:


Etowah County Courthouse, Room 221, 800 Forrest Avenue, Gadsden; Monday – Friday, 11: a.m. – 3 p.m.

Family Success Center, 821 East Broad Street; Saturdays on Feb. 3 and 17, March 2, 16 and 30 and April 13 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Hokes Bluff

Hokes Bluff Library, 3310 Alford Bend Road, Hokes Bluff; Mondays from 12 – 4 p.m.


Carnes Recreation Center, 102 Case Avenue; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.  – 3 p.m.

Rainbow City

Rainbow City Community Center, 3702 Rainbow Drive; Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


George Wallace Senior Center, 407 Hollingsworth Park Lane; Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sardis City

Sardis Public Library, 1310 Church Street; Wed-nesdays on January 31, Fe-bruary 14 and 28, March 13 and 27 and April 10, 1 – 5 p.m.

Walnut Grove

Walnut Grove Senior Center, 5151 Walnut Grove Road; Wednesdays on February 7 and 21, March 6 and 20 and April 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Call RSVP at 256-549-8147 for questions or more information.

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