FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2022
ALMOST One Month Until Tax Day: Department of Consumer AND WORKER PROTECTION Reminds Eligible New Yorkers to File Their Taxes for Free
NYC Free Tax Prep is here to help families with dependents who earned $72,000 or less and individuals who earned $50,000 or less in 2021 file for free
New York, NY – NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga today reminded New Yorkers there is almost one month left until Tax Day, which is Monday, April 18, 2022. NYC Free Tax Prep can help New Yorkers keep their full refund, including valuable tax credits like the Child Tax Credit (CTC), Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC). NYC Free Tax Prep is available for families with dependents who earned $72,000 or less and individuals who earned $50,000 or less in 2021.
To get the word out about NYC Free Tax Prep, DCWP hosted a press conference with partners including Grand Street Settlement, Food Bank for New York City,and elected officials. DCWP is also conducting street canvassing efforts this week and is offering tax prep in the Mayor’s recently announced Mobile Outreach Van.
“Even with one month left, there is still time to file your taxes for free with NYC Free Tax Prep and keep your full refund,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Tax credits including the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Credit are available to help families meet their most basic needs, which makes this a very important time of the year. We encourage you to get started today! I also want to thank Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer for their ongoing support of the tax prep program and tax credit expansion.”
“April 18th will be here before you know it! Thank you to DCWP for helping New Yorkers with these critical tax prep services,” said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “If you are eligible for the NYC Free Tax Prep this year, you should take advantage and make sure you get your full refund ASAP. We are also grateful for Mayor Adams’ and Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer’s commitment to the tax prep program.”
Claiming even one of these tax credits this tax season could equal thousands of dollars.
- Child Tax Credit (CTC): Parents and caregivers with children younger than 18 can get up to $3,000 or $3,600 per child depending on the child’s age. Filers do not need to have had income to claim the credit. Families who got advance payments in 2021, must file in 2022 to get the rest of their money. This includes families who signed up online using the IRS Non-filer Portal or GetCTC.org. Only the children being claimed need to have Social Security Numbers (SSN); the filer does not need a SSN and can file using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): EITC is available to working families and individuals with low and moderate incomes. Now filers 19-24 and over 65 years old without children can claim for the first time up to $1,502. Filers must have Social Security Numbers.
- Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCTC): Working families who pay for childcare for children under 13 or the care of dependent adults can get back up to $4,000 in care expenses for one qualifying person and up to $8,000 for two or more people.
NYC Free Tax Prep services include:
- In-Person Tax Prep—sit down with a volunteer preparer: At in-person tax prep sites, knowledgeable IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer preparers help filers complete an accurate tax return. There are over 120 locations across all five boroughs.
- Drop-off Service—drop off your documents and pick up your completed return later: With drop-off service, filers can drop off their tax documents and pick up the completed return later.
- Virtual Tax Prep—like in-person free filing but online: Virtual Tax Prep is an online service where an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer will video conference with filers to help prepare their tax return using a secure digital system. Filers can submit photos or scans of tax documents to the preparer, confirm their identity, and complete their return by video call with a preparer. Filers will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone; a stable internet connection; and the ability to download secure video conference software.
- Assisted Self-Preparation—free online tax prep on your own or with help: Assisted Self-Preparation allows filers to complete their tax return online on their own and an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer will be available by phone or email to answer questions. Filers will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone; a stable internet connection; an email address, and their 2020 adjusted gross income (AGI) or self-select PIN.
New Yorkers can call 311 or visit nyc.gov/taxprep to choose the best filing option for them and find the most convenient location if choosing in-person or drop-off tax prep. A checklist of what documents New Yorkers need to bring with them to file and multilingual information about the services are available at nyc.gov/taxprep. Services are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, Korean, Russian, Urdu and others to come. Visit nyc.gov/taxprep to stay up to date and join the #FreeTaxPrep conversation on @NYCDCA’s social media channels.
Consumers using a paid preparer should ask the preparer for a Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers (available in 12 languages) and read it thoroughly before having their taxes prepared, and also get DCWP’s Tips Regarding Tax Preparers. Consumers should also be on alert for preparers that overcharge, charge hidden fees, or file their return without permission.
“Preparing taxes can often be overwhelming, which is why the tax services provided by the Department of Consumer & Worker Protection are so beneficial. Not only are the services free for many, but they offer the security of a qualified preparer. The Department of Consumer & Worker Protection has already been hard at work offering a multitude of options including assisted, virtual, and drop off tax preparation services in multiple languages to make sure everyone is able to benefit. As Chair of the Consumer Affairs & Worker Protection Committee, I want to promote these impressive services, and make sure that in the final month before taxes are due, all eligible New Yorkers are provided the information and access to use them,” said Council Member Marjorie Velazquez.
“NYC Free Tax Prep is an invaluable resource that ensures New Yorkers are well-equipped to choose the best filing option to suit their needs. With just one month to go until Tax Day on April 18, I am proud to join the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the Food Bank for New York City, and our longtime neighborhood partners at Grand Street Settlement to ensure New Yorkers are aware of the services and counseling available to them during this critical time,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.
“I join my colleagues at DCWP today in reminding people – do not wait until the last minute to file! Our City’s tax prep services are very thorough and can help teach you about tax credits you might be eligible for. Providing these services is critical, especially in immigrant communities like the Lower East Side and Chinatown, as many first-generation New Yorkers might struggle with our complicated filing systems that confuse even people who have been here for generations,” said Council Member Christopher Marte.
“Over the past 20 years, Food Bank For New York City has prepared more than 800,000 tax returns, putting over $1.3 billion in refunds back into the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers while saving filers nearly $190 million in preparation fees,” said Zac Hall, Senior Vice President of Programs at Food Bank For New York City. “Our free, safe, and secure tax filing service is supported by an expert team of hundreds of multilingual IRS-certified staff and volunteers who ensure filers receive all the refunds and credits to which they are entitled. We are proud to partner with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, Grand Street Settlement, elected officials, and dozens of free community-based tax prep organizations citywide to make sure our neighbors get the help they need and deserve at this critical time. Visit foodbanknyc.org/taxhelp today to see how you can file your taxes for free with us before the April 18 filing deadline!”
“Grand St. Settlement is proud to partner with the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and the Food Bank for New York City to provide free tax preparation services. These services are so valuable to the 15,000 people we serve every year,” said Clovis Thorn, Managing Director of Development and Communications at Grand Street Settlement.
“The Free Tax Prep program has become one of the most requested services at Bronx Neighborhood Housing Services. Every year the same people return to Bronx NHS to get help to file their free taxes and they recommend their family members to join us,” said Oscar Morillo, Executive Director at The Bronx Neighborhood Housing Services. “Without doubt, Free Tax Preparation is the most popular service we have available. More than 1000 families are served every year and they receive over one million dollars in returns.”
“Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Inc, is here to provide our community with free and trusted tax filing services. We encourage all community members to file taxes with our skilled and professional tax preparers who can work with clients in Spanish, English and Mandarin,” said Julia Jean-Francois, Co-Executive Director at The Center for Family Life in Sunset Park. “Tax credits including the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Credit are available to help families reach economic stability. We are deeply grateful to DCWP for supporting us to serve our neighbors with pride!”
NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 51,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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About Food Bank For New York City
Since 1983, Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, Food Bank provided more than 80 million free meals last year for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, put nearly $36 million each year into the pockets of New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 50,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts. To learn more about how you can help, please visit foodbanknyc.org. Follow us on Facebook (FoodBank4NYC), Twitter (@FoodBank4NYC) and Instagram (@FoodBank4NYC).