If you are among the many taxpayers seeking assistance with their individual tax returns, you are likely experiencing the same frustration and difficulty as others in finding available resources due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, most in-person tax consultation services are either severely curtailed or unavailable. Finding locations where tax help is available is a challenge, to say the least.
The Bethpage Federal Credit Union is offering its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program virtually this year. The program, which will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through April 8, offers free online help for low- to moderate income ($57,000 and below) individuals and families. Trained, IRS-certified volunteers can help prepare your tax return. Bilingual assistance in English/Spanish is available by appointment only.
To participate, you must have access to a secure computer with Internet access as well as a valid email address. To fill out an application for assistance, visit https://www.bethpagefcu.com/community/events/vita.aspx. Services are subject to availability.
Bethpage FCU is also offering instructive webinars for those who want to do their own taxes. The lab sessions will provide free virtual assistance with filing your income tax return from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. During the sessions, volunteers from NYS will guide you step-by-step through the use of their online software to prepare and e-file your Federal and NYS income tax returns at no cost. CLICK HERE to learn more or to register.
The Health & Welfare Council of Long Island is also participating in the virtual VITA program to assist those with $66,000 or less in income in 2020. They have teamed up with GetYourRefund.org to help you file your taxes online with the help of HWCLI Staff and IRS- certified volunteers from across Long Island. This year, taxpayers will be able to access the service from the comfort and safety of their own home and will be contacted via phone and email to complete and finalize their return.
To get started, visit their website at https://hwcli.com/work-we-do/direct-services/vita/ or call 516-738-0447. Bi-lingual assistance is available.
The IRS offers a Free File program for eligible taxpayers preparing their federal tax return. If you have less than $72,000 in income, you can receive guided preparation. Those with more than $72,000 in income have access to Free File Fillable Forms. Visit the IRS website for more information: https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free.
To find out more about these services and to locate nearby tax preparation sites, visit the official I.R.S. website.