United Way of Northern New Jersey press release:
February 4, 2021
Starting today, residents can access free tax preparation services through a secure online portal developed by United Way in northern New Jersey to protect customers and creators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This allows United Way and its partners – the IRS, Norwescap, and the Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church – to continue a long tradition of providing free tax preparation services to low and middle income households.
“Knowing that 6,000 families in our region depend on us each year to prepare and file their tax returns for free, we have developed a solution that keeps everyone safe and healthy and maintains our commitment to providing this service,” said Kiran Handa Gaudioso, United Way CEO. “We stand ready to help families get every dollar they earn back and apply for government stimulus packages that are due.”
At https://uwnnj.org/freetaxprep, tax advisors can access the easy-to-use online system to electronically prepare and file their state and federal tax returns. The system uses secure document uploads, encrypted email communications and video conferencing. Support and forms are available in both English and Spanish.
Although this online platform is new, customers can continue to expect a high quality experience with IRS-certified tax advisors, a double-checking process, and returns completed within seven to 10 days of documents being uploaded, Gaudioso said.
In addition to ensuring applicants receive all eligible deductions and credits, United Way tax advisors can assist residents in obtaining overdue federal COVID-19 stimulus funds.
“In our region, 30 percent of households couldn’t afford the basics before the pandemic,” said Gaudioso. “Our free tax preparation automatically saves these families the average $ 270 preparation fee charged by paid tax accountants. And we all know that every dollar counts right now.”
The free service is aimed at individuals and families who call United Way ALICE, as well as those living in poverty. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and represents households that live from paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford the necessities of life. United Way’s most recent ALICE report for New Jersey, released in December 2020, found that ALICE households rose 41 percent between 2007 and 2018.
For more information on United Way’s free, high quality tax preparation program, the required documents and information on general tax credits, please visit: https://uwnnj.org/freetaxprep.
This press release was prepared by the United Way of Northern New Jersey. The views expressed here are the author’s own.