For the second year in a row, Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) will host an income tax preparation outreach event for eligible residents of the 147th Legislative District.
Appointments with volunteer tax preparation experts are now being scheduled in Toepel’s district office on Wednesday, March 6, between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., to assist senior citizens, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals with tax questions on their tax returns. Toepel’s district office is located at 80-A Gravel Pike in Red Hill.
The United Way offers this program known as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA. Certain income restrictions apply to be eligible for this assistance. To schedule an appointment or ask for additional information, call Toepel’s district office at (215)-679-3082.
“Because many low-income people cannot afford to hire an accountant to review their tax documents, these volunteers are a valuable asset in our community to help local residents tackle their tax forms,” said Toepel.
VITA’s trained volunteers will provide information on financial literacy and tax credits for which constituents might be eligible. In order to quality for VITA, a resident must have had a joint or individual annual gross income of less than $51,000 in 2012.
To assist with this tax preparation service, all tax documents must be brought along and both spouses must be present to sign the required forms for electronic filing of a joint return.
Individuals and couples should bring the following:
• Social Security cards
• Photo identification
• Tax forms and instructions for the current year
• W-2s, 1099s, 1099-Rs and other tax documents
• A copy of their 2012 tax returns (federal and state)
• Bank routing number and bank account number for direct deposit
Forms for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program for the 2012 tax year are also now available at Toepel’s district office.
Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2012. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities.
Eligibility income limits for homeowners are set at the following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits:
$0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate (homeowners and renters).
$8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate (homeowners and renters).
$15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate (homeowners only).
$18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate (homeowners only).
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedicates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylvanians. Since the program began in 1971, $4.8 billion has been paid to qualified applicants.
Residents are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Applications are due by June 30.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms are available by contacting Toepel’s district office at (215) 679-3082.