MARCH 15, 2013: CITY OF NEWARK REMINDS RESIDENTS: NEWARK NOW AND KEY PARTNERS PROVIDE FREE TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS
For Immediate Release
CITY OF NEWARK REMINDS RESIDENTS: NEWARK NOW AND KEY PARTNERS
PROVIDE FREE TAX ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program provides free tax preparation
services to low- and moderate- income Newark families;
State’s largest program helped 5,000 households obtain $12 million in tax refunds in 2012;
30 days remain until Federal Income Tax deadline of April 15
Newark, NJ – March 15, 2013 – Mayor Cory A. Booker and Newark Now President and CEO LaVar Young, reminded residents today that Newark’s three Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are providing free tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income Newark families, now through the Federal Income Tax filing deadline of Monday, April 15, which is in 30 days. Locations and operating hours are as follows:
- Newark Now’s Financial Empowerment Center - 103 Bloomfield Ave, Newark NJ 07104; Open: Monday-Friday Noon to 8:00 PM; Saturday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
- Newark City Hall - 920 Broad Street, Newark NJ 07102; Open: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 3:00 to 8:00 PM; Saturday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
- NewarkWORKS One Stop Center - 990 Broad Street, Newark NJ 07102; Open: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Launched by the Internal Revenue Service in 2005, the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program exists to encourage people in urban areas to take advantage of the earned income-tax credit. The VITA program provides free tax services available to low- and moderate- income New Jersey families who earn $50,000 per year or less. The VITA program was established to help residents receive the maximum tax credits and refunds allowable by law. Other partners in this initiative include the New Jersey Treasury Department’s Division of Taxation and the Newark Asset Building Coalition.
“Over the past nine years, Newark Now’s VITA program has put millions of dollars back into the pockets of our city’s low income and single household families. This year, the City of Newark is once again joining forces with Newark Now and our other community partners to continue to offer this vital program and I am excited to announce that thanks to a federal grant, our VITA services will now be offered to residents who live in three Northern New Jersey counties. I commend all of our VITA volunteers for their service and commitment to financially empowering those residents who are in need," said Mayor Booker.
As many Newarkers continue to contend with the effects of the recession, VITA aims to help residents take full advantage of various tax incentives, like the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, and ensure they get the most out of their refund.
“VITA is a great example of public/ private partnerships working together for the benefit of our residents and we are proud to continue to provide this viable service for the 10thyear. In addition we also provide full comprehensive benefit screenings, and educate residents about the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Care Credit and all the options they have when filing taxes,” said Newark Now CEO and President Young.
VITA offers Newark residents free, professionally certified tax preparation assistance and legal aid. The program has helped more than 24,000 residents in its seven years of existence. Newark Now’s VITA program is the largest in the state of New Jersey, and in 2012, Newark Now’s VITA program prepared over 5,000 tax returns, returned $12 million in refunds to tax filers, and saved over $700,000 in filing fees.
VITA also assists high school and college students to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Last year, Newark Now assisted more than 600 students with the FAFSA form. In 2013, VITA hopes to increase the number of residents it serves and the amount of refunds it generates.
Residents should bring the following items to the VITA sites:
· Personal ID
· Social Security cards, and dates of birth for taxpayer, spouse, children, and other
dependents you are claiming.
· Amount of 2012 payments for student loan interest, child care expenses, and
· All W-2, 1099, and 1098 statements.
· Copy of 2011 Income Tax return, if possible.
· Any other tax-related documents you have received.
· Proof of bank account for direct deposit.
VITA is operated by Newark Now’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), which directly connects thousands of Newarkers annually to important governmental, financial, and legal services. In addition to running VITA, FEC provides benefit screening and assistance with public benefits, as well as aids residents in finding emergency funding. The FEC offers Newark residents assistance with finding free or discounted prescription drugs through the innovative program Newark Rx. Finally, it aids Newarkers and businesses to become and stay green through a new effort that provides free and low cost energy solutions.
For more information or to volunteer with Newark Now VITA, please call 973-624-FREE (3733) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major commuter and freight rail lines, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
For the past six years under the Booker Administration, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. In population, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the northeast. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The production of affordable housing has doubled, and businesses are returning. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.
About Newark Now
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker founded Newark Now in 2003 to provide Newark residents with skills, tools, and support to transform their neighborhoods. Today, Newark Now is an intermediary organization that partners with municipal government, residents, grassroots organizations, and the philanthropic community to catalyze the achievement of significant positive outcomes throughout the city. The organization channels the efforts and energy of the grassroots community to improve safety, economic independence, and civic participation.