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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:54 am    Post subject: FREE TAX PREPARATION FOR SENIORS
From Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:00 am to Thu Apr 10, 2008 2:59 am (included)
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Alex Zablocki
April 4, 2008 718-984-4073 or 347-885-1200


Seniors offered free tax preparation services on Staten Island to enable them to receive about $300 as part of the IRS’s economic stimulus package

Staten Island – State Senator Andrew Lanza along with the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Empowerment, the Food Bank of New York City/Food Change and H&R Block announced today that there will be two free tax preparation events on Staten Island next week for senior citizens.

Starting in May, the U.S. Treasury will begin sending economic stimulus payments to more than 130 million households. To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return. Retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who usually are exempt from filing a tax return must do so this year in order to receive a stimulus payment. Most filers will receive a $300 check.

"Even though current non-filers will still not pay taxes, filing is the only way to get the rebate," said Senator Lanza. "I want to get the word out so that all Staten Island residents who are eligible get the rebate. Since paying a tax preparation fee would cut in to that rebate, I'm grateful to all involved here to allow seniors to have tax prep for free."

“It imperative that we reach New Yorkers who receive Social Security payments and veterans’ benefits who don’t typically file a tax return to let them know that this year they must file a return to receive benefits from the IRS’s economic stimulus package. These funds can help put food on their table,” said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City/FoodChange. “Last year, our Free Tax Assistance Program was responsible for more than 80 million dollars in refunds to the working poor in New York City – putting earned dollars back in the pockets of those who need it most”

The events will be held at the following locations:

New Dorp Beach Friendship Club
128 Cedar Grove Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
Wednesday April 9, 2008 from 9am-1pm

JJC – Avis/South Shore
1297 Arthur Kill Road
Staten Island, NY 10312
Thursday April 10, 2008 from 9am-1pm

Everyone is welcome to attend these free tax preparation events. Those wishing to use these services must bring ID, their social security number and earnings from 2007. A Federal return will be filed electronically on the site. Filing for the economic stimulus rebate will not affect Social Security benefits.

The Department of Consumer Affairs' Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is the first local government initiative in the nation aimed expressly at educating, empowering, and protecting those with low incomes, so they can build assets and make the most of their financial resources. OFE is the first program to be implemented under the Center for Economic Opportunity as part of Mayor Bloomberg's aggressive efforts to fight poverty in New York City.

OFE experiments with local government's unique capacity to leverage strategic partnerships, implement innovative solutions, and target enforcement powers to strengthen the financial security of New Yorkers with low incomes. OFE works with government agencies, community-based organizations, philanthropic partners, think tanks, and the private sector to increase financial literacy, improve access to smart financial products and services, and protect against fraudulent and deceptive practices.

Food Bank For New York City, in conjunction with its subsidiary organization, FoodChange, works to end hunger and increase access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers through a range of programs and services that focus on nutrition, education and financial empowerment. As the major supplier of food to 1.3 million New Yorkers, the Food Bank procures and distributes food to approximately 1,000 emergency and community food programs throughout the five boroughs. The organization provides food safety, networking and capacity-building workshops; manages nutrition education programs for schools, after-school and emergency food programs; operates food stamp outreach and education programs; operates senior programs, a soup kitchen, and food pantry; coordinates the largest Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program in the country; and conducts research and develops policy to inform community and government efforts to end hunger throughout the five boroughs. For additional information, go to www.foodbanknyc.org

If anyone has any questions, please call Senator Lanza’s office at 718-984-4073.
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