Tax season is almost here, so take advantage of tax preparation assistance to make sure that you’re able to prepare your taxes securely and apply for any income-based credits and deductions you’ve earned. This includes filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you qualify, and getting a much-deserved break on your taxes. Assistance is available onsite (for drop-off services) or through your home computer (for virtual services).
Food Bank for New York City
If your 2020 household income was below $57,000 (with or without dependents), our partner Food Bank For New York City is offering free tax preparation events. Drop-off tax preparation services are available at sites throughout the five boroughs, and you can also take advantage of virtual tax preparation services from the comfort of your home. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person tax preparation services will not be provided.
If your 2020 household income was below $57,000 (or $32,000 if you are single and have no dependents), our partner Ariva is also offering free tax preparation events. You can choose to use drop-off tax preparation services at sites throughout the Bronx or virtual tax preparation services from the comfort of your home. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person tax preparation services will not be provided.
Claim Your EITC
Find out whether you meet the income requirements for the EITC by using the 2020 tax guidelines listed below:
- Income below $50,594 ($56,844 if married, filing a joint return) with three or more dependent children
- Income below $47,440 ($53,330 if married, filing a joint return) with two dependent children
- Income below $41,756 ($47,646 if married, filing a joint return) with one dependent child
- Income below $15,820 ($21,710 if married, filing a joint return) with no dependent children
If Your Household Income Is Below $68,000, You Can Visit One of These Organizations for Free Tax Preparation in the Five Boroughs
You CAN receive free tax preparation assistance even if you itemize the following deductions:
- Medical and dental expenses
- State and local property or sales tax you paid
- Interest on your mortgage and/or investments
- Gifts to charity
- Certain work-related expenses
You CANNOT receive free tax preparation assistance if:
- you are filing a tax return in another state;
- you have additional deductions, forms or schedules other than those mentioned above or listed in the section “What You Need to Have Your Taxes Prepared”; or
- you have self-employment income (reported on Form 1099-MISC or from your own business), and you incurred deductible expenses to earn your income, except if you are a child-care provider or cab driver with $10,000 or less in expenses.
Option 1: Drop-off Tax Preparation Services (By Appointment Only)
E-filing Your Taxes with Onsite Help
Drop-off services with one-on-one telephonic electronic filing (e-filing) are available, at no charge, at tax preparation sites. When you drop off your income- and tax-related documents, a certified tax preparer will scan them so that your taxes can be prepared at a later time. The tax preparer will then call you to review your information and help you file your taxes, as well as file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if you qualify.
Food Bank For New York City can provide this service if your 2020 household income was below $57,000 (with or without dependents). Appointments are required; to make one, call (646) 981-6111, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Ariva will also be offering this service at several Bronx locations if your 2020 household income was below $57,000 (or $32,000 if you are single and have no dependents). Appointments are required; to make one, call (718) 292-2983 and leave a message.
Here’s how drop-off e-filing works:
- Only the person(s) filing will be allowed on the premises (the only exceptions are caregivers and children). You will also need to bring everything listed in the section “What You Need to Have Your Taxes Prepared.”
- A site volunteer will verify your identity, review your income- and tax-related documents, and ask you to complete an intake form.
- Your documents will be securely scanned so that an onsite certified tax preparer can process your tax return at a later time.
- Your certified tax preparer will call you within 48 to 72 hours to go over your tax return and complete the e-filing process.
- Your tax return will be electronically filed! You must have access to a computer and an email address, because the link to your completed tax return will be sent by email. If you do not have an active email, you will receive an appointment to pick up a copy of your tax return.
Onsite Option 2: Virtual Tax Preparation Services
E-filing Your Taxes Remotely
As long as your 2020 household income was below $57,000 (with or without dependents), Food Bank For New York City also offers the free Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (Virtual VITA) program for convenient electronic filing (e-filing) from your home. Visit www.FoodBankNYC.org/taxhelp for more information.
Ariva will also be offering this free service as long as your 2020 household income was below $57,000 (or $32,000 if you are single and have no dependents). Email [email protected] to learn how to e-file from home.
Here’s how virtual e-filing works:
- You must have access to a computer, an email address and a cell phone (preferably a smartphone) to use this option.
- You will receive an appointment for a video chat, during which you will verify your identity.
- You will then be asked to complete an online intake form and to upload your income- and tax-related documents using a secure link.
- A Quality Reviewer, who is a certified tax preparer, will schedule a call with you to review and confirm the information on your tax return.
- After the Quality Review, you will be asked to sign an authorization to file your tax return so it can be electronically filed. You will then receive an email with the link to your completed tax return.
Other Resources for Onsite Tax Help
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites Near You
If you can’t find a convenient site near you, there are additional Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites that offer free tax preparation assistance. Just call the VITA Site Locator Hotline at (800) 906-9887 or use the VITA Site Locator Tool to locate your nearest VITA site and find hours of operation and contact numbers.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is providing in-person and virtual tax preparation services at no charge to taxpayers with low and moderate income, especially those who are age 60 or older. For more information, visit https://taxaide.aarpfoundation.org. (Make sure you read the section that explains what documents you need to have your taxes prepared.) You can also call AARP at (888) 687-2277 to find a site near you.
For More Information, Including Free Tax Preparation Sites
For National Benefit Fund and Greater New York Benefit Fund Members
For Home Care Members
Regardless of your status, all Home Care members are eligible to receive free tax preparation assistance—even if you don’t receive health benefits.
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