You can use an RGB TIF in Premiere Elements. However, you can not edit its individual layers in Premiere Elements.
With respect to Steve, I think he may have missed part of your question.
i have a file that has multiple layers that can be edited but in elements 11 it does not allow me to do so! it just has a pencil with a line through it! does it do this in elements 14? i dont want to waste 80 dollars on the same problem!
It sounds like you have a photo file from some source and what to work on existing layers. This particular forum is about the video editing software Premier Elements, which has limited functionality with photo files.
If it is a photo file, you won't waste your money if you take advantage of the usual 30 day trial. You might also post your question in the Photoshop Elements forum and include what produced the file.
Another possibility would be to put the file in DropBox and I'll try it for you!