NYC offers free tax preparation and job training services

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, BROOKLYN — Whether you’re busy or just can’t afford it, you might be delaying filing taxes, but New York City is offering to do it for free.

Molly Ornati is associate director of the Center for Personal Financial Health. “This is extremely important because it helps people avoid tax preparation fees, which also encourages them to do their taxes and get the benefits they deserve,” Ornati said.

Along with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the city contracts more than 100 community organizations to help find tax credits filers may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Steven Cox is the tax program manager for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, which assists with free tax preparation.

“People who never filed a tax return but had dependents and received refunds of $5,000, $10,000 as a result of that,” Cox said.

If you earn $50,000 or less as a single person or $72,000 with a family or dependent, you may qualify.

Denzel Small uses the service every year. “They’re very honest and they’re very caring,” Small said. “I always come here because they provide me with all the information I need to do my taxes.”

They also help with back taxes and small business taxes.

The city’s Small Business Services mobile camper van was also on hand to enroll people in job training programs. SBS Commissioner Kevin Kim said there are 18 sites in the five boroughs offering free job training and links to employment opportunities.

“We try to match job seekers with opportunities to get into new careers, and we offer all training for free,” Kim said.

Anyone also looking to start or grow their business – small or large – can turn to the agency for resources.

“We have people in our agency who are designated to hold their hand and walk them through, step by step, all the different regulatory agencies that they will have to work with to move their business forward,” Kim said.

Whether you’re looking to file your tax return, grow your business, or find a job, community resources are available to make the process stress-free.

To find out where you can file your taxes for free, search for the portal here. For more information on resources to start your business or get job training, visit the Small Business Services website.