“There are additional locations available this year in local communities where volunteers provide free tax preparation assistance to eligible individuals,” said Commissioner Velez. “NJ 2-1-1 is an excellent resource to assist persons with low income, or with disabilities, in locating tax preparation assistance.”
NJ 2-1-1 is available by calling 2-1-1 or by logging onto the NJ211 website, http://www.nj211.org. Click “I need help” and scroll down the “Search Database” list. Click “Tax Information” and “Tax Preparation,” then click “Search” for a list of community locations providing tax assistance. There are 190 programs listed in a variety of locations.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also offers specialized publications as well as volunteers who provide assistance in income tax preparation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA offers free tax help to people with low-income, generally $42,000 and below. Certified volunteers are trained to help prepare basic tax returns and assist taxpayers in assessing whether they may be eligible for Tax Credits. VITA sites are located in a variety of communities and most offer free electronic filing. To locate the nearest VITA site, call NJ's social services hotline 2-1-1 or the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
Working low-income residents and persons with disabilities may also benefit from an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Governor Corzine last year expanded the program eligibility and enhanced the benefit amount for eligible residents under the EITC. Learn more about eligibility for this federal and state tax credit, which is based on earned income and the number of qualifying children in the household from the New Jersey Division of Taxation homepage at http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation.
The IRS offers specialized publications and forms on the IRS website http://www.irs.gov/. The following tax publications are of special interest to persons with disabilities:
“Publication 907: Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities”
“Publication 524: Credit for the Elderly or Disabled”
“Publication 502: Medical and Dental Expenses”
Another tax-related resource for state residents with low-income or disabilities is the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, which provides assistance to persons who are experiencing a hardship or are unable to resolve a particular problem with the IRS. For information regarding the Taxpayer Advocate, call 1-877-777-4778. For TTY/TTD call 1-800-829-4059.