For the third year in a row, a free tax preparation service will assist low income Queens residents file their returns and receive the credits to which they are entitled.
Woodside Councilman Eric Gioia joined St. Albans Councilman Leroy Comrie and Mitchell Taylor, president of the East River Development Alliance, last week to announce the service, which will be available through March. It will be offered in conjunction with FoodChange and Citizens for NYC at the Center of Hope International Church, 12 11 40th Ave. in Long Island City.
The three also cautioned residents against using for profit tax programs that allow taxpayers to file without W 2 forms, saying they unfairly target low income residents with predatory schemes.
The tax preparation service will seek to ensure that individuals who are eligible for the earned income tax credit receive it. An estimated 230,000 New York City residents are eligible but never apply for the benefit. There are federal, state and local tax credits of up to $5,940 based on personal income levels and dependents.
Taxpayers are eligible for the credit if they earned less than $35,263 (or $37,263 if married, filing jointly) and have more than one child; earned less than $31,030 (or $33,030 if married, filing jointly) and have one child; or earned less than $11,750 (or $13,750 if married, filing jointly) and have no children.If all eligible New Yorkers applied for the earned income tax credit, nearly half a billion dollars could be returned to city residents and the local economy.
To use the East River Development Alliance’s free tax preparation service, call (718) 784 0877 to make an appointment. —Dan Hendrick