United Way and partners are ready to help at free tax prep sites

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – At free, IRS-qualified tax sites throughout the region, United Way of Northern New Jersey and its partners are at the ready to help eligible area residents navigate new state tax credits.

The new credits will help working families who are paying for child care or adult dependent care, unpaid family caregivers looking after a disabled military service member and those who are working hard but struggling to make ends meet.

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“Child care is often the most expensive line item in the family budget, but it’s something working parents can’t do without,” United Way Chief Operating Officer Kiran Handa Gaudioso said. “Thanks to the new child care credit, working families can receive some much-needed relief. Our trained tax preparers are ready to help, ensuring residents get by get back every dollar they are owed.”

United Way has teamed up with NORWESCAP RSVP, Greater Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Partners for Health Foundation, Single Stop and the IRS to offer a free tax preparation program to help New Jersey households who are living paycheck to paycheck. IRS-certified volunteers ensure local individuals and families who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty, receive all available tax credits.

The following are new credits for tax year 2018:

  • The Child and Dependent Care Credit assists working families with costs associated with the care of a child or dependent adult. While the credit reduces the amount of New Jersey gross income tax owed, it doesn’t result in a refund if no taxes are due.
  • The Wounded Warrior Caregivers Relief Act offers an income tax credit to qualifying family caregivers who take care of a military service member with a disability connected to service in any war or conflict on or after September 11, 2001. The credit is equal to 100 percent of the federal veteran disability compensation or $675, whichever is less.
  • A New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit increase will see qualified taxpayers benefit from the state’s match of the federal credit. The state match increased from 35 to 37 percent this year. 

“We know that every dollar counts for hardworking ALICE families,” Gaudioso said. “In addition to helping residents benefit from any eligible tax credits, we also help them save the average $270 fee paid tax preparers charge.”

Last year, United Way and its partners made it possible for more than 5,800 households to file their taxes for free, refunding more than $6.4 million and saving residents more than $1.5 million in tax preparation costs.  

To make an appointment at a free tax site in Morris, Somerset, Suburban Essex, Sussex and Warren counties, dial 973.993.1160, x5. Residents can also make online appointments for some of the tax sites by visiting www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/FreeTaxPrep. Households earning less than $66,000 also have the option to file their taxes for free online using MyFreeTaxes.com. 

These free services are available only to low- and moderate-income families and individuals. These services are not available to business owners or landlords. For more information about United Way’s free, quality tax preparation program, visit: www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/FreeTaxPrep


About United Way of Northern New Jersey 
United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization fighting to improve life for families and individuals in our five-county footprint who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty. We believe when those who are struggling to afford the basics can succeed, all communities win. By focusing on Education, Financial Stability, and Health, we are helping ALICE now and in the long term. We do this through our initiatives that fill gaps in services, community partnerships, public policy work, and volunteer efforts. United Way of Northern New Jersey serves Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties as well as portions of suburban Essex County including the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona. To learn more, call 973.993.1160 or visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org.