Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

POUGHKEEPSIE & NEWBURGH — If you are one of the many Hudson Valley residents who need help with your tax return, FREE tax preparation once again is available from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide’s IRS trained and certified volunteers through the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition.

Last year, 7,287 residents of Dutchess and Orange Counties received help preparing and filing their taxes.

Need Help with Your Tax Return?

Amanda Pecorella of Fishkill, a Mount Saint Mary College accounting major (right), aids Javareah Joseph (left) of Newburgh, in preparing a tax form at the Newburgh Ministry. Photo courtesy of Matt Frey, Mount Saint Mary College.

As they expect the demand to be equal that this year, the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition advises that you call to schedule your appointment as early as possible.

To receive help, it’s as easy as picking up the phone and dialing 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment through United Way’s Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 Helpline (or by dialing 1-800-899-1479) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with appointment scheduling beginning Jan 11. This free tax preparation service is provided to all those who are eligible thanks to AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition members, United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, and many other community partners.

“Last year, $6,441,766 million was returned in the form of tax credits and refunds to people who need it most in our community,” noted Jeannie Montano, President and CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region. “Part of the mission of United Way is fighting for the financial stability of every person in our community. We hope that individuals, families, and seniors will take advantage of this free help and call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment.”

“We know that people in our community are working diligently, but finding it hard to survive,” Jeannie Montano explained. “Many of these are the people identified in United Way of New York’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report. They’re our friends. They’re the people who greet us with a smile and help us every day at restaurants, day care centers, dental clinics, and offices. The refunds and EITC that they receive thanks to the AARP Tax-Aide volunteer tax-preparers truly make the difference in their very day-to-day survival, and help pay rent, medical bills, buy food and fulfill other basic needs. We proudly support the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition and its partner organizations with grants from the United Way Community Fund, as well as support from KeyBank and IBM Corporation. This program is a great example of how we can all come together to help Mid-Hudson Valley residents gain financial stability, a cornerstone of our mission.”

The 36 tax preparation locations are conveniently located throughout Dutchess and Orange Counties and will be staffed by AARP Tax-Aide volunteers, six days-a-week, including evenings and weekends from February 1st through April 15, 2018. Assistance will be available for the hearing-impaired and for those who need a translator. The tax service is open to area residents of all ages who meet eligibility guidelines. AARP membership is not required.

“United Way, Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition, and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide members would like to express their gratitude to local colleges who are participating in a very significant way with this program,” said Dave Weaving, the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition coordinator. “This is the seventh year that Mount Saint Mary College and the third year Marist College will be providing IRS trained and certified student volunteers to help prepare taxes. Both institutions provided the Coalition with training venues for students and other local volunteers. In addition, Marist is once again serving as a tax site. We’d like to thank both of these colleges for their continued involvement and support of our community.”

“There are now 36 tax preparation sites at locations throughout Dutchess and Orange Counties,” noted Linda Eddy, Dutchess County CA$H Coalition coordinator. “Thanks to the AARP Tax-Aide volunteers who staff these sites as volunteer greeters and tax preparers and those who make appointment reminders and provide other support we hope more of our neighbors and friends will take advantage of increased access and appointments for the 2017 tax year. I’d like to remind everyone to call 2-1-1 now to schedule an appointment as these slots fill up very quickly.”

In Dutchess County, there are 20 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites located in: Beacon, Dover Plains, Fishkill, Hopewell Junction, Hyde Park, Millbrook, Millerton, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Staatsburg, Stanfordville, and Wappinger Falls.

In Orange County, there are 16 free Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition tax preparation sites located in: Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, Greenwood Lake, Middletown, Monroe, Montgomery, Newburgh, New Windsor, Pine Bush, Port Jervis, Walden, Warwick, and Washingtonville.

Anyone in need of tax preparation help should call the United Way Hudson Valley Region 2-1-1 Helpline or dial 1-800-899-1479 to schedule an appointment beginning Jan. 11 through Apr. 17, 2018. The 2-1-1 Helpline is open daily, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the best time to call after 5 p.m. A call specialist will review eligibility, make an appointment, provide directions to the appropriate tax site, and provide a complete list of required documents needed for the appointment.

Please note that appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so individuals should call 2-1-1 as soon as possible.

For additional information about the Hudson Valley CA$H Coalition, including volunteer opportunities, go to www.hv-cash.org or www.uwdor.org/hv-cash.

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