MONTCLAIR, N.J. – United Way of Northern New Jersey is seeking the assistance of area residents to sign up as volunteer tax preparers to help the estimated 133,000 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and poverty-level households throughout the northern New Jersey region avoid the high cost of preparation fees during the upcoming tax season.

To become an IRS-certified tax prep volunteer, individuals are required to take a free training course that is offered both by United Way and through online resources.

“Serving as a volunteer tax preparer is a tangible way to give back to the community and help your fellow neighbors in need,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO John Franklin. “By avoiding the high cost of tax preparation fees, ALICE households can keep hold of much-needed funds that can help them afford the basics.”

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United Way has launched the recruitment campaign for volunteer tax preparers in order to have trained volunteers across its five-county footprint, including in suburban Essex County. During the last tax season, hundreds of volunteers helped United Way and its partners file more than 5,600 tax returns across the region.

 

Volunteers help ALICE save the average $270 charged by tax preparers, which meant last year area residents saved an estimated $1.5 million in tax preparation fees. In addition, more than $6.4 million in refunds was pumped back into the economy.

 

For more information about in-person training in Montclair at the United Way office, 60 South Fullerton Avenue, or online certification courses, email Monica.Conover@UnitedWayNNJ.org, call 973.993.1160 x529 or go to www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/TaxPrepTeam.