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Emergency volunteer tax credits available for volunteer firefighters, others

 

January 20, 2009



Active volunteer firefighters, ambulance and rescue personnel can now file the “PA Schedule OC-V” form with their 2008 state income tax return to get the new $100 state income tax credit.

“I will continue to reach out to local volunteers to make sure they apply for the $100 state tax credit,” State Senator Wayne D. Fontana said. “Hopefully, the legislation will encourage more citizens to volunteer for these critical emergency response positions.”

Sen. Fontana said the “PA Schedule OC-V” and accompanying Schedule OC can be downloaded via a link at the Senator's website at http://www.senatorfontana.com. State tax forms can also be obtained by calling the state Department of Revenue's automated forms ordering service at 1-800-362-2050.

Eligible volunteer first responders who file their state income tax returns electronically should submit an electronic version of the PA Schedule OC-V form with their return, the state Revenue Department has advised. For those who file their return by mail, the department has established a special mailing address for tax credit-eligible volunteers: PA Department of Revenue, Volunteer Tax Credit, P.O.Box 280400, Harrisburg, PA 17128-0400.

 Sen. Fontana said a volunteer's eligibility is determined by a point system that takes into account such factors as the number of calls responded to by a volunteer; training and participation in drills; and time spent on administration, maintenance of facilities and equipment and support activities. The “PA Schedule OC-V” form must be signed by both the volunteer and the chief or supervisor of the emergency service organization.

 The point system, developed jointly by the state Fire Commissioner and the state Health Department's Director of Emergency Medical Services, “is neither intended to be too stringent nor too lax, but is necessary to assure program accountability and that the tax break goes to those who are active and deserve it.

 

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