Posted Monday, January 28th, 2019

United Way and partners to open free tax sites in February for low- and moderate-income families in Morris County

United Way of Northern New Jersey and its partners are reassuring Morris County area residents that IRS-qualified, free tax sites will be open and running this February, despite the uncertainties created by the federal government shutdown. Residents can get ready for tax season now by scheduling an appointment.

United Way of Northern New Jersey logo“Our free tax sites are not affected by the shutdown,” said United Way Chief Operating Officer Kiran Handa Gaudioso. “Our preparers have been trained in the new tax law and will be ready to file tax returns.”

This free service is designed to help the 38 percent of New Jersey households who are living paycheck to paycheck, unable to afford necessities. For local individuals and families who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty, the free tax preparation program allows them to receive the credits and refunds they’ve earned while saving the average $270 fee paid tax preparers charge.

“When you are struggling to get by, every dollar counts,” said Gaudioso. “Our IRS-certified preparers will work hard to help ALICE households get back everything they deserve.”

United Way has teamed up with NORWESCAP RSVP, Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Partners for Health Foundation, Single Stop and the IRS to offer day, night and weekend appointments in person with IRS-certified volunteers who prepare and file both state and federal returns for free.

To make an appointment at a free tax site, dial 973.993.1160, ext.5. Residents also can make online appointments for some of the tax sites by visiting www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/FreeTaxPrep. Households earning less than $66,000 also have the option to file their taxes for free online using MyFreeTaxes.com.

Regardless if filers pay a preparer or use a free service, those receiving a state refund or certain federal tax credits will see a delay. New Jersey state income-tax refunds will not go out until at least March 1. For low-income families eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, the IRS expects refunds for returns claiming these federal credits to be available starting on February 15.

Clients using United Way’s free tax preparation program will have the opportunity to put more money into their wallets by accessing savings-related information and programs such as Savers Credit and SaveYourRefund. The Savers Credit can provide ALICE and poverty-level taxpayers who are saving for retirement with a special tax break. Clients who qualify can see their tax bills reduced. Through the SaveYourRefund program, clients saving at least $50 of their federal refund at the time of filing can enter for a chance to win $100 and one of two $10,000 grand prizes.

Last year, United Way and its partners made it possible for more than 5,800 households to file their taxes for free, refunding more than $6.4 million and saving residents more than $1.5 million in tax preparation costs.

These free services are available only to low- and moderate-income families and individuals, not to business owners or landlords.

For more information about United Way’s free, quality tax preparation program, visit: www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/FreeTaxPrep.

To learn more, call 973.993.1160 or visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org.