The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) – in partnership with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and the Food Bank For New York City – announced today the kick-off of free tax preparation services across the five boroughs, ensuring thousands of NYCHA residents and other low-income families receive the tax refunds they deserve.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
There are over 20 NYCHA locations across the five boroughs where 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.
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 here. For more information about NYC Free Tax Prep, please visit here or call 311.
“Good Shepherd Services is grateful to partner with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Food Bank for New York City to provide free tax prep, a valuable service to families,” said Good Shepherd Services Executive Director Sr. Paulette LoMonaco. “Being able to host at our community center helps alleviate a burden all New Yorkers face at tax time and will complement the services we provide to the youth and families we serve.”
“Henry Street Settlement is grateful to partner with NYCHA and the Food Bank For New York City to offer this essential service to our community,” said Henry Street Settlement Executive Director David Garza. “Getting guidance and critical support with tax filing can save individuals and families thousands of dollars. We want to make sure that hardworking New Yorkers are treated equitably in the tax system and able to get back any funds and credits to which they’re entitled by law, to meet their essential needs.”
“BronxWorks is excited to offer our free tax prep services starting Monday January 28. The service will be offered from our Morris Innovative Senior Center located at 80 East 181 Street. We expect the service to operate throughout the tax season. It is important for BronxWorks to provide such a vital service to our community to help alleviate some concerns about the possibility of paying to file or not understanding all of the tax codes,” said BronxWorks Assistant Executive Director John Weed.
“For the sixth year in a row, our Jobs-Plus program in the Bronx will provide free tax preparation for the residents of the Clason Point, Sack Wern and Monroe NYCHA developments. As a certified VITA site, our Jobs-Plus will help eligible New Yorkers claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to put money back in their pockets, which will spur economic growth in the local community,” said Goodwill NYNJ President and CEO Katy Gaul-Stigge. “Since 2013, Goodwill NYNJ has provided job training and employment support in our Job-Plus located at 1620 Bruckner Blvd, this is part of our vision of a world where there are no barriers to work.”
“SoBRO is delighted to once again partner with New York City Housing Authority in providing access to free critical tax preparation services to residents of the Bronx,” said SoBRO Senior Vice President for Community & Economic Development Patrick R. James.
“As tax season approaches, New Yorkers are preparing to wrangle once again with their tax returns. Especially with complexities stemming from new federal, state, and local tax laws, New Yorkers should be provided free consultation and assistance with their tax forms,” said Assembly Member Michael DenDekker. “I applaud NYCHA’s efforts to make free tax preparation available for NYCHA residents and low-income New Yorkers.”
“Offering free tax preparation services in our community brings much needed relief to hundreds of our working families,” said Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal. “I would like to thank the Food Bank of New York and NYCHA for their partnership to assist my constituents and New York families.”
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Almost 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 325 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit here, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via Facebook and Twitter.