For Immediate Release
Jan 26, 2022
United Way of Greater Newark and Newark Asset Building Coalition Launch
Free Tax-Filing Services for Low and Moderate Income NJ Residents
United Way of Greater Newark (UWGN), in partnership with other Newark Asset Building Coalition (NABC) partners, has announced the launch of the Newark Free Tax Prep (NFTP) initiative, which provides free online and drop-off tax preparation services for low and moderate income New Jersey residents. The initiative is aimed at helping eligible residents claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The NFTP, which is part of the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, will run from Monday, January 31st until Friday, April 15th and will include an easy-to-use online GetYourRefund tax-filing portal as well contactless drop-off locations at 7 sites in Newark and East Orange.
Before the pandemic, American taxpayers left $10.5 billion on the table because many eligible families were unaware of the EITC. In New Jersey, 25% of eligible taxpayers did not apply for the credit. However in tax year 2020, nearly 6,000 NFTP clients collectively received $2.6 million through the EITC for a total refund amount of $10.1 million. They also saved over $1 million in tax preparation fees.
“I’d like to express my deep appreciation to our NABC partners for helping once again to provide the greater Newark community with these free tax filing services. The pandemic continues to underscore the economic and healthcare barriers that face the residents we serve, and as it rolls into its second year, many of them are still struggling to make ends meet as a result. The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of our country’s most powerful mechanisms for keeping millions of individuals and families out of poverty,” stated Catherine Wilson, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Newark. “Additionally, this tax year millions of families with children who haven’t received their CARES Act Child Tax Credit still have an opportunity to claim their share.”
“At Prudential, we believe financial security should be within reach for everyone and we are committed to closing the financial divide, especially in our headquarter city of Newark. Access to programs like free tax prep help ensure an inclusive economic recovery. Prudential is a proud supporter and member of the Newark Asset Building Coalition to help accelerate economic mobility for all Newarkers,” said Samuel Diaz, Manager in Inclusive Solutions at Prudential Financial.
“I am thrilled to partner with United Way of Greater Newark and NABC to re-establish this much-needed service in the South Ward Community. For multiple years, we have witnessed first hand the financial relief that this free tax preparation service provides to our families that would have either incurred an out of pocket expense or deduction from their tax returns,” shared Nichelle Holder, Chief Program Officer, South Ward Promise Neighborhood. “I also recognize this service provides our families with a peace of mind, because they know that VITA tax professionals will leave no stone unturned and ensure they each receive every tax benefit that is available to them.”
Those interested in using NFTP services can use the online platform, GetYourRefund, to upload their tax documents to be reviewed by a local, trained, IRS-certified tax professional. Applicants will receive a call from a VITA professional to remotely prepare, review, and file their tax returns. Those who prefer contactless services offered by local community organizations can drop off their tax documents at several sites across greater Newark.
For more information about the NABC services and drop-off locations, visit nabcnj.org/newark-free-tax-prep.
To file your taxes through GetYourRefund, visit getyourrefund.org/UWGN.
If you’d like to learn more about UWGN’s online tax-filing services, see more information here (English) or here (Spanish) or about the drop-off process, see here (English) or here (Spanish).
The NABC works to promote financial independence and stability for residents of the City of Newark, and provide residents with financial education, access to wealth-building programs, and extended services around personal finance. The Steering Committee is made up of key Newark-based stakeholders including: United Way of Greater Newark, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Newark Alliance, La Casa De Don Pedro, Urban League of Essex County, and the New Community Corporation. Program and marketing support has been made possible by The Prudential Foundation and Citi.
About United Way of Greater Newark
United Way of Greater Newark’s (UWGN) mission is to disrupt the cycle of poverty by convening, collaborating, and investing in strategies to improve outcomes for children and families. UWGN has a long history of convening disaster funds in the community, including having established the 9/11 fund, the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and, most recently, the Newark Water Fund. In order to continue providing support to the community and its non-profit partners during the COVID-19 crisis, UWGN has established the Community COVID-19 Fund. This is a regional fund serving its 13-municipality footprint including Newark, Irvington, East Orange, West Orange, South Orange, Orange, Belleville, Nutley, Maplewood, Kearny, Harrison, East Newark, and North Arlington.