Free Tax Filing Help is Available
Need help filing your taxes before April 15th? There’s free assistance available in Ocean and Monmouth counties through a program hosted by the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
This is the first year the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties has hosted the free tax preparation program with the help of a grant from the Robin Hood Foundation, according to Income Support Program Manager Dennis Vega. He says they’re available to offer help without judgment. “We work along with a with CPA firm, a very well respected CPA firm, Cowan and Gunteski. We have about nine staff members that are trained and certified by the IRS.”
Vega says the service is for low and middle income households but he says everyone’s welcome.
We have a cap of $51,000 per households and $31,000 if you are an individual but we don’t want to discourage anybody to come to us. If you have more than that, you are more than welcome to come over here and and we can take a look at your taxes.
Vega says they can’t help with very complicated tax preparations, stocks and bonds or business losses but they can refer you to people who can.
Now in the interest of full disclosure this reporter desperately sought their assistance at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library Wednesday. They were tucked in a room toward the back of the second floor and no one really knew they were there. There were four qualified tax preparers sitting there with computers just waiting for people to help. I was lavished with the assistance offered by their collective knowledge. However, they were bored and really wanted to help more people. They also provide bilingual assistance.
Foodbank officials say they’re really hoping to get money and resources to the families of Ocean and Monmouth Counties. They say many families don’t file taxes and miss out on one of the biggest single government financial assistance programs available and that’s The Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC). Vega says he can also refer people to things like Legal Assistance, Food Stamps (SNAP), local food pantries programs. They especially want to help people affected by the super storm.
There’s a full list of locations and times through out the two counties where they offer assistance get the details at the Foodbank website .The program runs until April 15th.