Free Tax Preparation and Tax Credits Available

Tax season does not need to be a stressful time of year. Assistance is available to help you prepare your taxes and find out if you are eligible for certain tax credits. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help for low- to moderate-income individuals and families who earn $55,000/year or less. The VITA volunteers are IRS-certified. Assemblywoman Solages will host the VITA program on two separate days in her District office located in Valley Stream. Present during both days will be representatives from the VITA program joined by bilingual tax assistors who speak Spanish and French-Haitian Creole. WHERE: District Office of Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages
1690 Central Court, Valley Stream, NY 11580 WHEN: Saturday, March 21, 2015 and Saturday, March 28, 2015 TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Those attending must bring the following:

  • Photo identification
  • Social security cards for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Current year’s tax package if you received one
  • Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099R, from all employers
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last year’s Federal & State returns if available
  • Total paid for day care and provider’s tax ID
  • Bank routing and account numbers for direct deposit
  • NEW REQUIREMENT: Please bring information regarding the Affordable Care Act Provisions. Tax payers will need to provide proof of Health Insurance for themselves, Spouses, and all dependents
  • Proof of health insurance i.e. Insurance Cards, Medicaid, or Medicare cards etc. OR
  • Proof of Market Place Insurance i.e. 1095-A Form Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
*** Tax payers who did not have health insurance in 2014, may be subject to a tax penalty of $95.00 or 1% of their adjusted gross income, whichever is higher.*** In addition, for those who are 60 years of age and older, the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program can provide assistance at no cost to you. To find the nearest TCE site, visit or call 1-800-906-9887. If you are not eligible for the VITA program, there are additional tax credits for which you and your family may qualify. Too often, hardworking families miss the opportunity to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in federal and state tax credits. These tax credits are in place to help families make their hard-earned dollars stretch just a little further. Current programs you may qualify for include:
  • The Empire State Child Credit, a refundable tax credit worth up to $330 per child for ages 4-16;
  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit, a tax credit based on a sliding income scale for working parents who pay for child care or those who live with a spouse or dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care;
  • The Federal Child Tax Credit, a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 per child under the age of 17, or the refundable Additional Child Tax Credit; and
  • The Real Property Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit worth up to $375 for eligible homeowners and renters.
Additionally, if eligible, you may be able to recoup portions of the income tax that were withheld from your paycheck throughout the year. In fact, through an often overlooked tax break called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), eligible taxpayers can receive extra cash back from the IRS or New York State. These savings help many families cover their monthly bills and allow them to put money away for the future. To qualify for the New York State and federal EITC, you must:
  • Have worked full or part time at some point during the calendar year;
  • Have income below $38,511 ($43,941 if married) with one child;
  • Have income below $43,756 ($49,186 if married) with two children;
  • Have income below $46,997 ($52,427 if married) with three or more children; or
  • Be a worker between the ages of 25 and 65, earning less than $14,590 ($20,020 if married) with no children.
I encourage you to set aside some time and check to see if you are eligible for any of the referenced tax credits. These tax credits exist for your benefit. If you are eligible, the credits can lower your taxes and help put money back in your pocket. To learn more about the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit, visit For information or questions on New York State taxes and the state EITC, visit And, as always, please feel free to contact me about this or any other community issue at 516-599-2972 or at