“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”

–James A. Baldwin

The face of hunger has evolved and more often includes the working poor. Food Bank’s Tax Assistance and Financial Services Program seeks to help New Yorkers in need transition from surviving to their best version of thriving. Limited income in a city of rapidly rising costs can cause a family to make tough choices in their quest to make ends meet. Our suite of tax programming services seeks to increase the capacity of soup kitchens and pantries to change the landscape of services and assistance available to the most vulnerable.

By participating in our program, community based organizations may provide low-income New Yorkers with free tax preparation services, helping them get the refunds and credits to which they are entitled. This includes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which alone can be worth up to $8,463 for families.

You Earned It. Food Bank Will Help You Claim It.

  • What You Need to Know
  • What You Need to Bring
  • Where You Can Go

You’re eligible for Food Bank’s Free Income Tax Services if you:

  • earned $54,000 or less with dependents;
  • earned $30,000 or less without dependents;
  • are a self-employed taxi driver or childcare provider.

Claiming your EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit):

  • EITC is money YOU EARNED! Ask about your eligibility during your appointment with a tax preparer.
  • Our VITA1 sites can help determine if you're eligible for EITC and how much you're entitled to claim.
  • You can also find out if you are eligible now with the IRS EITC Calculator.

More information on when and how to file coming December 2017!

1 VITA is Food Bank For New York City’s free citywide tax assistance and financial services program.

Having the items below with you when you visit one of our tax assistance sites will help our IRS-certified tax preparers provide you with the fullest refund and all the credits for which you are eligible. We recommend that you print this page to use as a checklist when collecting these items.

Tax Preparation Checklist


A photo ID for you and your spouse (if filing a joint return).


If you are filing a joint return, both you and your spouse must be present.


Social Security cards* (originals or copies) or ITIN (originals or copies) for you and anyone you are claiming on your tax return; or a letter from the Social Security Administration.

tax in circle

W-2s for all jobs you held in the prior year and all 1099 forms paid in cash or personal checks. You must also know your total income and deductible expenses for the year.

brick in circle

If you are claiming childcare expenses, the amount you paid and the childcare agency’s ID, or the name and Social Security Number of the childcare provider.


If you purchased health insurance through the marketplace and were eligible for the premium tax credit, please bring form 1095-A.

cheque in circle

A sample check or a bank statement with the routing and account number, if you have a savings or checking account for direct deposit.


If you are a victim of identity theft, bring your IP-PIN (Individual Protection-Personal Identification Number) assigned by the IRS.

graduate in circle

Form 1098-T, if you paid tuition for post-high school education.


Any other tax-related information you may have received.

*NOTE: copies of past-year tax returns are not accepted as proof of SSN.

Food Bank provides free tax preparation services through our network of providers. Check back in December 2017 for an updated list of participating sites and updated instructions on how to make appointments.