Free Tax Prep Services Available for Eligible Filers
With the addition of several new tax preparation sites in Dutchess and Orange Counties, hundreds more Hudson Valley residents in need of FREE help preparing and filing 2015 federal and state income taxes will be able to schedule appointments this year by calling United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 Helpline (or dial 1-800-899-1479). This free tax preparation service is provided to 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, over 7,100 returns were prepared for people with low to moderate incomes in Dutchess and Orange Counties, who took advantage of this free tax preparation service,” noted Jeannie Montano, President and CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. “This resulted in $5,738,546 million returned in the form of tax credits and refunds to our community, to people who need it most.”
"By receiving help filing their taxes, many people will receive these much needed refunds that can be used to pay rent, medical bills, and to buy food and fulfill other basic needs," Jeannie Montano explained. "We proudly support the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition and its partner organizations with grants from the United Way Community Fund. This program is a great example of how we can all come together to help Mid-Hudson Valley residents gain financial stability. It remains a cornerstone of our mission."
The 35 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 through April 15, 2016. 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 fifth year of involvement, Mount Saint Mary College is providing 17 students and this year Marist College is participating to a significantly greater extent than in the past with over 19 accounting student volunteers,” Dave Weaving noted. “Both institutions have provided the Coalition with training venues for students and for other local volunteers. The younger volunteer certified tax counselors in addition to the large retired base of community volunteers provide for a great mix, one that is beneficial to both groups.” He concluded, “We also are pleased that Marist will be one of our new tax sites this year offering Saturday appointments. We’d like to thank both of these colleges for their continuing involvement and support of our community.”
“In addition to the new site at Marist College, there is a new location in Hyde Park (Dutchess County) and new sites in Monroe, Port Jervis, and Walden (Orange County),” noted Linda Eddy, Dutchess County CA$H Coalition coordinator. “These additional sites will provide more access and appointments to hundreds more of our neighbors and friends. I’d like to remind everyone to call 2-1-1 now to schedule an appointment as these slots fill up very quickly.”
In Dutchess County, there are 20 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites 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 15 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites in: Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, Middletown, Monroe, Montgomery, Newburgh (3), New Windsor, Pine Bush, Port Jervis, Walden, Warwick, and Washingtonville.
Anyone in need of tax preparation help should call the United Way Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 Helpline or dial 1-800-899-1479 to schedule an appointment from now through April 15, 2016. The 2-1-1 Helpline is open daily, seven days a week from 9:00am to 7:00pm. A call specialist will review eligibility, make an appointment, provide directions to the appropriate tax site, and provide a complete list of required documents needed for the appointment.
Please note that appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so individuals should call 2-1-1 as soon as possible.
For additional information about Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition, including volunteer opportunities, go to www.hv-cash.org or www.uwdor.org/hv-cash.
Headlining photo: By Dwight Sipler from Stow, MA, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons