by Melanie Lavelle
Hello beautiful NYC Veterans community. First, thank you for your service. Second, we know how hard you have had to fight even here at home for the benefits you’ve already earned. So pat yourselves on the back for all the hard work.
We are in full-on tax season right now, and we at Benefit Kitchen wanted you to know that you can get your taxes done for FREE here in NYC if you meet certain criteria. General eligibility for most free tax-preparation sites is that you must have earned $54,000 or less in 2016, or you need help because you’re disabled or 60 years or older.
Why is it important to use these free services? In America, two of the biggest tax preparers get 17 cents to the federal dollar we spend on the earned income tax credit. Big fees and sometimes questionable expedited cash practices eat into the tax credits you have earned. Please do yourself a favor and go find a site where kind volunteers trained by the IRS will do them for you--for free.
Visit http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/TaxMap/ which will show you all the sites in the city or call 311 and ask for a “free tax assistance site” near you. Also, it is important to note that if you are concerned that someone else might claim the children that live with you, it is better to file sooner rather than later. Happy filing everyone!
PS - We welcome you to use Benefit Kitchen, a free app that in ten minutes can tell you your eligibility and dollar amounts for eighteen federal, state, and local benefits. Download it at Google Play or the Apple Store, or visit www.benefitkitchen.com And we are happy to be working with NYC Veterans Alliance to expand Benefit Kitchen to meet more of the needs of veterans! So please share your feedback with us at [email protected].