Free Tax Counseling, Preparation Begins February 2

OSWEGO – The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, a division of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, will staff tax sites in the cities of Oswego and Fulton and by appointment in the villages of Central Square and Phoenix.

Fred Wall (center), AARP district coordinator, is flanked by local coordinators, Betty Talamo and Nancy Perticone.
Fred Wall (center), AARP district coordinator, is flanked by local coordinators, Betty Talamo and Nancy Perticone.

RSVP recruits volunteer tax aides for the program in cooperation with AARP, the IRS and the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

More than just preparation and e-filing of taxes, the volunteers provide counseling.

Sessions are available for all, with special attention to those 60 and older.

Tax aide counselors receive training during January on the current federal and state tax laws which apply to personal tax returns. They are specially trained to understand those provisions of the tax code that affect older people. A training manual gives detailed descriptions of tax forms and applicable tax law requirements and numerous worked examples and self-test exercises are provided to further clarify provisions of the tax code.

Tax Aides are required to pass an examination, becoming certified to assist taxpayers.

Beginning Feb. 2 through April 15 the following sites will be open to serve Oswego County residents.

Rarely will sites close due to bad weather.

To avoid a long wait at the walk-in sites in Fulton and Oswego, consider delaying your visit until mid-February.

Central Square Library, 637 S. Main St.: Saturdays by appointment.  Call to schedule: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  Call 343-5524 to schedule, Feb. 7 – April 11.

Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St.: walk-in site, Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – noon and 6 – 8 p.m., Feb. 4 – April 15.

Oswego’s McCrobie Civic Center, 41 Lake St.: walk-in site; Tuesdays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Feb. 3 – April 14.

Phoenix Public Library, 34 Elm St.: weekdays by appointment. Call to schedule:  (Fred) 695-2553, (Bill) 458-1465, (Betty) 934-4333;  Feb. 2 – April 15.

Taxpayers should have with them last year’s tax returns, photo ID, all income statements (W-2s, 1099s, all forms indicating federal income tax paid), Social Security card(s) for each person included on the return, all receipts or canceled checks for itemized deduction, and checkbook or pre-printed deposit slip for direct deposit of any refund.

The Affordable Care Act, the nation’s new health care law that went into effect at the beginning of 2014, requires most Americans to have health coverage.

This year, when you file your federal income tax, you will have to show that you and every member of your family has the minimum amount of health insurance required by the new law.

If using an AARP tax aide to help you file, bring insurance coverage documentation, along with dates of coverage for each individual.

If your health insurance is through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), bring form 1095-A; if you have received a health insurance exemption, you must provide written documentation.

For questions specifically on the tax program, contact one of the following tax aides: Nancy at 342-1604, John at 343-5524 or Betty at 934-4333.

For information on volunteer opportunities for people 55 and older, including tax aide, or to receive the Mature Living newsletter, call 312-2317 or email [email protected]

RSVP is a federal initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored locally by SUNY Oswego and the United Way.