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News from DCA - Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 11, 2010

Kay Sarlin/Elizabeth Miller, Department of Consumer Affairs, (212) 487-4283
Cassie Salinas, One Economy Corporation, (503) 542-0862


DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ ANNOUNCES CITY’S FIRST ONLINE FREE TAX PREPARATION SERVICE

New Yorkers Earning Less than $58,000 Can Learn How to File Their Taxes Online for Free by Visiting nyc.gov/OnlineFreeTaxPrep

City Estimates Nearly 2.7 Million New Yorkers Qualify for the City’s New Free Online Tax Preparation Service



 

As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s 8th Annual Tax Credit Campaign spearheaded by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), Commissioner Jonathan Mintz today announced the City’s first ever online free tax preparation service for City residents available by visiting nyc.gov/OnlineFreeTaxPrep. New Yorkers who earn $58,000 or less per tax return qualify to prepare and electronically file their tax returns for free. The service is powered by One Economy Corporation – a nonprofit that leverages the power of technology to empower people to enter the economic mainstream – with their online tax filing software The Beehive. In 2007, nearly 2.5 million New Yorkers paid to have their income tax returns prepared. The City estimates that more than 2.7 million New Yorkers may qualify for this free online tax preparation service.

“New York is a do-it-yourself kind of City where people like to get things done quickly. That’s why we are excited to offer this free online tax filing program in conjunction with our partners at Beehive,” said Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “Now that everyone has their W-2 forms, why not file quickly and claim every dollar of tax credits you have coming to you? Visit nyc.gov/OnlineFreeTaxPrep and go get your refund!”

“One Economy created an online tax filing platform to make it easier for low- and moderate-income Americans to get the credits and refunds they deserve,” said Rey Ramsey, Chairman of One Economy. “With the support of our partners, we are able to take our digital tools and resources directly into the community and provide local taxpayers with the knowledge and confidence to file online themselves.”

Online Free Tax Preparation

City residents interested in filing their taxes online using the City’s new service should visit nyc.gov/OnlineFreeTaxPrep and make sure they have the following information:

  • An e-mail address
  • 2008 Adjusted Gross Income
  • W-2 forms from all employers
  • All 1098 and 1099 forms
  • Proof of any other income, e.g. lottery winnings
  • Total paid for child care provider and the provider’s Taxpayer Identification Number or SSN (if claiming the New York City Child Care Tax Credit)
  • Bank account and routing numbers (if direct depositing a refund)
  • Name, address, and phone number of landlord (if claiming the Renter’s Credit)

When preparing tax returns online, City residents should type in “NYC” not “New York” when prompted to fill in their locality from Box 20 on the W-2 form.

Assisted Online Free Tax Preparation

In addition to this new online tax filing service, the City also offers drop-in locations where certified tax specialists from Food Bank for New York can assist New Yorkers with filing their taxes online and answer any question they may have. The following locations offer assisted online tax preparation:

  • Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation (NMIC)
    76 Wadsworth Avenue New York, NY 10033-7038
  • St. John’s Bread & Life
    795 Lexington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221
  • CAMBA
    1117 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213 (Enter on Utica Ave.)
  • Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council
    1125 Grand Concourse (between McClellan St. and E. 166th St.), Bronx, NY 10451

New York City’s Tax Credit Coalition Campaign is supported in part by donations made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Funders include H&R Block, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citi, ConEd, Fidelity Investments and M&T Bank. The campaign includes partnering city agencies, non-profit organizations, the IRS and media sponsors the Daily News, El Diario and Hot 97.

The Mayor’s Fund is a not-for-profit organization established to strengthen public programs serving the needs and general welfare of New Yorkers. To learn more about the Mayor’s Fund, or to make a contribution to the Tax Credit Coalition Campaign, visit nyc.gov or call 311 and ask about making financial contributions to New York City.

DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law and other related business laws throughout New York City. Ensuring a fair and vibrant marketplace for consumers and businesses, DCA licenses more than 71,000 businesses in 57 different industries. Through targeted outreach, partnerships with community and trade organizations, and informational materials, DCA educates consumers and businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities. DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment is the first municipal office of its kind in the nation with a mission to educate, empower and protect New Yorkers with low incomes. DCA’s OFE administers a citywide network of Financial Empowerment Centers and other products and services that help these New Yorkers make the best use of their financial resources to move forward economically. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at nyc.gov/consumers.