Newark free tax prep program provides residents income tax filing assistance
Published February 12, 2019 | Manny Faces
Image courtesy of United Way of Essex and West Hudson
Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced the Newark Free Tax Prep program, being offered to Newark residents for the current tax filing season. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will provide free tax prep services by trained and certified preparers to low- and moderate-income Newark families at 12 locations throughout the city.
VITA, launched in association with the United Way of Essex and West Hudson, is the state’s largest volunteer tax preparation initiative. In 2018, VITA tax counselors helped file more than 8,400 tax returns, facilitating more than $13 million in total refunds. Families taking advantage of the program saved a combined $1.7 million in tax-preparation fees.
Newark families earning less than $56,000 per year are eligible for the VITA program and can receive services at 12 locations throughout the city. VITA counselors will also be offering Financial Aid U for low-income students, assisting in the filing of FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms.
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Banking services will also be provided, with the Newark Asset Building Coalition launching Bank On, which partners with several financial institutions to help residents in the Greater Newark access “safe and affordable banking products and services.”
Residents interested in obtaining more information about the VITA and Bank On programs can call 211 (24 hours a day, seven days a week), or visit www.uwewh.org/taxprep.
The 12 locations where the services will be available are as follows:
Vince Lombardi Center of Hope, 201 Bloomfield Avenue (North Ward)
B.R.I.C.K. Avon Academy, 219 Avon Avenue (South Ward)
B.R.I.C.K. Peshine Academy, 433 Peshine Avenue (South Ward)
Belmont Runyon School, 1 Belmont Runyon Way (South Ward)
Malcolm X Shabazz High School, 80 Johnson Avenue (South Ward)
Achieve Community Charter School, 534 Clinton Avenue (South Ward)
Ironbound Community Corporation,7 Wilson Avenue (East Ward)
The Urban League, 506 Central Avenue (West Ward)
New Community FSC, 274 South Orange Avenue (Central Ward)
New Jersey Citizen Action, 165 Halsey Street (Central Ward)
Essex County College, 303 University Avenue (Central Ward)
Newark Emergency Services for Families, 982 Broad Street (Central Ward)