Low- and moderate-income families can receive free tax prep and filing services
Beginning February 1, area residents can once again access free tax preparation services through a safe and secure online portal designed by United Way of Northern New Jersey.
The easy-to-use portal enables United Way and its partners — the IRS, Norwescap, and Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church — to provide free tax preparation services to households struggling to afford life’s basics. For local individuals and families who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty, this free tax preparation option allows them to receive the credits and refunds they’ve earned while saving the average $270 fee paid tax preparers charge.
“For ALICE and households in poverty, every dollar counts especially as rising costs strain already stretched budgets,” said United Way CEO Kiran Handa Gaudioso. “That’s why United Way, our partners and our highly trained volunteers are committed to helping ALICE families get back every dollar they deserve — and need.”
Last year, 5,000 households turned to United Way to file their tax returns for free, saving $1.5 million in fees and receiving $5.5 million in refunds that could be pumped back into the economy.
By visiting uwnnj.org/freetaxprep, tax filers can access the easy-to-use online system to have their state and federal tax returns prepared and filed electronically. The system uses secure document uploads, encrypted email communication, and video conferencing. Assistance and forms are available in both English and Spanish.
Clients using the online portal can also expect a high-quality experience with IRS tax law-certified preparers, a double review process, and completed returns within seven to 10 days from document uploads, Gaudioso said.
“Our tax preparers also ensure clients receive all eligible deductions and credits,” Gaudioso added.
For more information about United Way’s free, quality tax preparation program, documents needed, and information about common tax credits, visit: uwnnj.org/freetaxprep.
In addition to the online portal, individuals and families can also schedule a limited drop-off or in-person appointment or use self-filing software to file their taxes for free.
To learn more about filing options or for questions about the online portal, email UnitedWayTaxPrep@UnitedWayNNJ.org or leave a message in English or Spanish at 973.993.1160, x5 and a tax specialist will return your call.