Beginning Feb. 1, Sussex County residents once again may access free tax preparation services through a safe and secure online portal designed by United Way of Northern New Jersey.
The easy-to-use portal enables United Way and its partners - the IRS, Norwescap and Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church - to provide free tax preparation services to households struggling to afford life’s basics.
For local individuals and families who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty, this option allows them to receive the credits and refunds they’ve earned while saving the average $270 fee that paid tax-preparers charge.
“For ALICE and households in poverty, every dollar counts especially as rising costs strain already stretched budgets,” said United Way chief executive Kiran Handa Gaudioso. “That’s why United Way, our partners and our highly trained volunteers are committed to helping ALICE families get back every dollar they deserve - and need.”
Last year, 5,000 households turned to United Way to file their tax returns for free, saving $1.5 million in fees and receiving $5.5 million in refunds that could be pumped back into the economy.
By going online to uwnnj.org/FreeTaxPrep, tax filers may access the easy-to-use online system to have their state and federal tax returns prepared and filed electronically. The system uses secure document uploads, encrypted email communication, and video conferencing. Assistance and forms are available in both English and Spanish.
Clients using the online portal also may expect a high-quality experience with IRS tax law-certified preparers, a double review process, and completed returns within seven to 10 days from document uploads, Gaudioso said.
“Our tax preparers also ensure clients receive all eligible deductions and credits,” he added.
For information about United Way’s free, quality tax preparation program, documents needed, and information about common tax credits, go online to uwnnj.org/FreeTaxPrep
In addition to the online portal, individuals and families also may schedule a limited drop-off or in-person appointment or use self-filing software to file their taxes for free.
To learn about filing options or for questions about the online portal, send email to UnitedWayTaxPrep@UnitedWayNNJ.org or leave a message in English or Spanish at 973.993.1160 ext. 5 and a tax specialist will return your call.