Thousands of NYCHA residents and other low-income families will be able to get the tax refunds they deserve thanks to a partnership between NYCHA, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), and the Food Bank For New York City to provide free tax preparation services across the five boroughs.
With over 20 NYCHA locations across the five boroughs, residents earning $55,000 per year or less can file state and federal taxes for free with trusted, IRS-certified tax preparers thanks to support from Citi Community Development and the Fund for Public Housing. The process takes no more than 30 minutes, allowing the tax filer to leave the site and come back once the tax return is complete and ready to be submitted to the IRS. (Watch this video about a NYCHA resident who took advantage of free tax prep last year.)
To take advantage of the program, individuals can walk-in or must secure an appointment, depending on the location. For a list of free tax prep locations, please visit www.OpportunityNYCHA.org/taxprep.
“Last year, we expanded our free tax prep services to assist more than 1,900 individuals who received nearly $3 million dollars in tax refunds – making a real difference in the lives of NYCHA families and other low-income New Yorkers,” said NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff. “Thanks to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the Food Bank For New York City and other organizations, we are thrilled to continue this successful program in 2019 as we expect thousands of families in all five boroughs to benefit from this free service.”
Free tax preparation services will be available at NYCHA developments, community centers, and Jobs-Plus sites through April 12. The Food Bank For New York City is partnering with NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) to offer the service. Other partner organizations include:
- Good Shepherd Services;
- Catholic Charities Community Services;
- Police Athletic League (PAL);
- Goodwill NYNJ;
- Brooklyn Community Services;
- Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation;
- Graham Windham;
- Henry Street Settlement; and
- ResCare Workforce Services.
“More than a million tax returns have been filed by New Yorkers for free with trusted professionals, ensuring they’re getting back every hard-earned dollar they deserve,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of free tax prep and other free services we offer, including free financial counseling – both of which can help them pay their bills, get out of debt and save for their future.”
The Food Bank For New York City has partnered with the Authority and DCA to help NYCHA public housing residents, NYCHA Section 8 voucher holders, and other lower-income New Yorkers at no cost since 2014, and with support from Citi Community Development since 2015. As part of the DCA’s NYC Free Tax Prep program, the initiative partners with trusted, IRS certified volunteer preparers as part of the national IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
NYC Free Tax Prep increases awareness about tax credits that put money back in the pockets of working New Yorkers and helps qualifying New Yorkers file their taxes online for free. EITC, one of the largest poverty reduction programs in the U.S., is a federal, state and New York City tax credit for qualifying families, non-custodial parents (NYS EITC only), and singles who work full time or part time or are self-employed. For working families in New York City, federal EITC claims average $2,411 and can be worth as much as $8,529 when combined with state and City credits. Families with low incomes who are employed or underemployed and have child care costs for children up to age four could also be eligible for up to $2,310 with the NYC CCTC. Combined, these credits can total more than $10,000.
All New Yorkers who earn $66,000 or less can file for free using NYC Free Tax Prep services, which include more than 150 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and AARP Tax-Aide sites citywide, as well as online self-preparation at nyc.gov/taxprep. For more information about NYC Free Tax Prep, visit nyc.gov/taxprep or call 311.