Need help with your tax return? Free tax preparation assistance is available for low to moderate income residents from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers and the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition.

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. With the addition of several new tax preparation sites in Dutchess and Orange Counties last year, 7,655 residents of Dutchess and Orange Counties (an increase of more than 500 individuals) received help preparing and filing their taxes. This year, the coalition is pleased to announce a new tax site in Greenwood Lake and 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. 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, $6,176,853 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.”

“We know that people in our community are working diligently, but finding it hard to survive,” Jeannie Montano explained. “These are the people we identified in United Way of New York’s recent ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, who 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, and to 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 KeyBank and 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 36 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, 2017. 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.

“Now in its sixth year of involvement, Mount Saint Mary College is providing 17 students and this is the second year Marist College is providing more than 15 student volunteers,” Dave Weaving noted. “Both institutions have provided the Coalition with training venues for students and other local volunteers. The younger volunteer certified tax counselors in addition to the large retired base of community volunteers provide a great mix, one that is beneficial to both groups.” He concluded, “We also are pleased that Marist is once again serving as a tax site, which allows us to expand our Saturday appointments. We’d like to thank both of these colleges for their continued involvement and support of our community.”

“With the addition of the new site in Greenwood Lake, there are now 36 tax preparation sites at locations throughout Dutchess and Orange 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 2016 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 (2), Dover Plains, Fishkill, Hopewell Junction (2), Hyde Park, Millbrook, Millerton, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeepsie (6), 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 (3), New Windsor, Pine Bush, Port Jervis, Walden, Warwick, and Washingtonville.

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 12th through April 15, 2017. The 2-1-1 Helpline is open daily, seven days a week from 9:00am to 7:00pm with the best time to call in the afternoons 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 KeyBank and IBM Corporation for grants that help support the work of the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition.

For additional information about the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition, including volunteer opportunities, go to www.hv-cash.org or www.uwdor.org/hv-cash.

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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
Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Dutchess County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
Fidelis Care
Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union
Literacy Orange
Marist College
Mount Saint Mary College
MVP Healthcare
North East Community Center
PathStone
Poughkeepsie Plaza
RECAP: Regional Economic Community Action Program
Taconic Resources for Independence
United States Internal Revenue Service 
United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region
United Way Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1
Walden Savings Bank