by David McCoy
W-2, 1099, 1098-T, 1040, 1040-EZ, if you are like me the numbers on these forms may stir up anxiety or confusion. So what do we do? We use TurboTax or stop by H&R Block or Jackson-Hewitt and, in the process, shell out sometimes hundreds of dollars hoping that this help will lead to a bigger tax return. Whether or not you can afford that assistance, the reality of tax season descends on usall every January and hangs like a dark cloud over our heads, often until the last minute of April 15.
For some of New York's most vulnerable, there is another option, where people can get high quality tax services without any added cost. That's right: FREE. The Food Bank's free tax services provide assistance from thousands of IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers who help qualifying New Yorkers get the most out of their tax returns. And, with fourteen sites spread throughout the five boroughs, experts are just around the corner.
Last year, the Food Bank's Free Income Tax Assistance Program completed more than 37,000 tax returns New York City's working poor -- helping to bring more than $65 million in tax refunds and credits back into the city. Our program is not only putting money back into the pockets of low-income New Yorkers – we also help move New Yorkers toward greater economic self-sufficiency by providing eligible households with access to bank accounts, food stamps, health insurance information and SaveUSA accounts -- a savings incentive program offered in limited locations in New York City.
So spread the word with the Share button below, check the eligibility requirements and stop by and visit your friendly, neighborhood Food Bank tax preparer.
As Agency Resources Coordinator for Food Bank of New York City, David McCoy works to increase the capacity of our network of community-based member programs.