If you are one of the many Hudson Valley residents who need help with your tax return, FREE tax preparation once again is available from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide’s IRS trained and certified volunteers through the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition. Last year, 7,797 residents of Dutchess and Orange Counties received help preparing and filing their taxes. This year, the coalition hopes to help even more people receive the refunds they deserve.
To receive help, it’s as easy as picking up the phone to schedule an appointment through United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 Helpline (or by dialing 1-800-899-1479) from 9am to 7pm daily, with appointment scheduling beginning January 15th. This free tax preparation service is provided to all those who are eligible thanks to AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition members, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, and many other community partners.
“Last year, $6,608,331 million was returned in the form of tax credits and refunds to people who need it most in our community,” noted Jeannie Montano, President and CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. “Part of the mission of United Way is fighting for the financial stability of every person in our community. We hope that individuals, families, and seniors will take advantage of this free help and call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment.”
“The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is ‘one of the largest anti-poverty tools in the United States’ according to the House Ways and Means Committee,” stated Patrick DeLeon, United Way’s Financial Empowerment VISTA. “EITC and the child tax credit (CTC), greatly reduce poverty for working families. These working family credits lifted an estimated 9.4 million people out of poverty in 2017, including 5 million (or more than half of them) children. However, around 20% of qualified Americans do not claim their EITC every year. Last year, Hudson Valley CA$H processed 994 returns with EITC, for a total refund of $1,686,877.”
“Through recent studies, including United Way of New York State’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, it’s clear that many members of our community are working diligently, but finding it hard to survive,” Jeannie Montano explained. “They’re our friends. They’re the people who greet us with a smile and help us every day at restaurants, day care centers, dental clinics, and offices. The refunds and EITC that they receive thanks to the AARP Tax-Aide volunteer tax-preparers truly make the difference in their very day-to-day survival, to help pay rent, medical bills, buy food and fulfill other basic needs. We proudly support the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition and its partner organizations with grants from the United Way Community Fund, as well as support from the IBM Corporation. This program is a great example of how we can all come together to help Mid-Hudson Valley residents gain financial stability, a cornerstone of our mission."
The tax preparation locations are conveniently located throughout Dutchess and Orange Counties and will be staffed by AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, six days-a-week, including evenings and weekends from February 1st through April 15, 2019. Assistance will be available for the hearing-impaired and for those who need a translator. The tax service is open to area residents of all ages who meet eligibility guidelines. AARP membership is not required.
“United Way, Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition, and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide members would like to express their gratitude to local colleges who are participating in a very significant way with this program,” said Dave Weaving, the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition coordinator. “This is the eighth year that Mount Saint Mary College and the fourth year Marist College will be providing IRS trained and certified student volunteers to help prepare taxes. Both institutions provided the Coalition with training venues for students and other local volunteers. In addition, Marist is once again serving as a tax site. We’d like to thank both of these colleges for their continued involvement and support of our community.”
“There are now 40 tax preparation sites at locations throughout Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties,” noted Linda Eddy, Dutchess County CA$H Coalition coordinator. “Thanks to the AARP Tax-Aide volunteers who staff these sites as volunteer greeters and tax preparers and those who make appointment reminders and provide other support we hope more of our neighbors and friends will take advantage of increased access and appointments for the 2018 tax year. I’d like to remind everyone to call 2-1-1 now to schedule an appointment as these slots fill up very quickly.”
In Dutchess County, there are 20 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites located in: Beacon, Dover Plains, Fishkill, Hopewell Junction, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Millerton, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Staatsburg, Stanfordville, and Wappinger Falls.
In Orange County, there are 16 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites located in: Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, Greenwood Lake, Middletown, Monroe, Montgomery, Newburgh, New Windsor, Pine Bush, Port Jervis, Walden, Warwick, and Washingtonville.
In Putnam County, there are 4 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites located in: Carmel, Mahopac, Kent, Patterson.
Anyone in need of tax preparation help should call the United Way Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 Helpline or dial 1-800-899-1479 to schedule an appointment beginning January 15th through April 15, 2019. The 2-1-1 Helpline is open daily, seven days a week from 9:00am to 7:00pm with the best time to call after 5pm or on weekends. A call specialist will review eligibility, make an appointment, provide directions to the appropriate tax site, and provide a complete list of required documents needed for the appointment.
Please note that appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so individuals should call 2-1-1 as soon as possible.
United Way thanks IBM Corporation for a grant that helps support the work of the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition.
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Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition services are made possible through the support of these partner organizations:
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide
Catholic Charities Community Services of Dutchess County
Catholic Charities of Orange & Sullivan
Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County
Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County
Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
Mount Saint Mary College
North East Community Center
Orange County Office for the Aging
Pawling Resource Center
RSVP Senior Volunteer Program
United Health Care
United States Internal Revenue Service
United Way Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1
United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region
Walden Savings Bank