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NJ 2-1-1 Supports Struggling New Jerseyans, Connects Low-to-Moderate Income Earners to Tax Assistance Sites

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 Every year at this time, NJ 2-1-1 staff is helping to ensure that the refund is not left “on the table” by answering calls for information on locations where free tax filing assistance is available.

Hundreds of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations are listed on the organization’s website, www.nj211.org/nj-vita-centers. “There isn’t a day that goes by that we are not sharing this information with our callers and web visitors,” says call center director, Janice Kaniewski.

With the help of many community partners, including the United Ways of New Jersey, NJ 2-1-1 starts to identify these locations as early as December. “We put such effort into compiling this comprehensive listing of VITA sites, because VITA connects people with an important tax credit that they might otherwise miss out on,” continues Ms. Kaniewski.

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The refund to which she is referring is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and for years it has been putting real money back into the hands of hard working citizens throughout the country. Workers who file what is known as a simple tax return to state and federal government could receive refunds from both.

The EITC is available to those who worked full- or part-time or were self-employed in 2016. Depending upon one’s income and family size, federal credits range from $506 to $6,269 and state refunds may amount to anywhere from $178 to $2,195. To qualify, you must file a tax return even if you do not owe any tax or are not required to file, and you must meet income eligibility requirements which can be found on the organization’s website [https://www.nj211.org/tax-assistance].

Gina Plotino, NJ2-1-1 board president, cautions that those eligible for free tax preparation may be induced to select a for-profit tax preparer who offers refund advances. “I urge eligible earners to understand the terms. Typically, such advances are actually loans for which interest is charged in addition to cost of preparation.  NJ 2-1-1 strongly encourages families to seek out IRS-certified free tax sites in their communities through NJ 2-1-1, to ensure you realize your full benefit."

In addition to providing information on VITA locations, the NJ 2-1-1 website, www.nj211.org,  provides visitors with full access to the 2-1-1 resource database of over 10,000 programs and services from approximately 3,000 organizations. Web visitors will also find informative pages that provide comprehensive information like application links, eligibility guidelines and critical dates. Special sections of the site are devoted to such topics as Emergency Preparedness, Family Services, Home Energy Assistance, Utility Assistance, and Resources for the Unemployed among others.

2-1-1 is the free, user-friendly phone number that serves people throughout the U.S., connecting millions each year to critical resources, information and services. In New Jersey, more than 363,000 people turned to NJ 2-1-1 for help last year. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are free, confidential and multilingual.

About NJ 2-1-1

The statewide information and referral service began in 2002 when the United Ways of New Jersey spearheaded efforts to give people-in-need a central location to call when looking for health and human services. The Board of Public Utilities designated the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership as the sole administrator of the three digit dialing code. Statewide coverage began in 2005. In 2016 alone, the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership provided resource assistance to over 363,000 people who called 2-1-1 or visited our website. With roughly 3,000 agencies in the organization’s resource database and over 10,000 programs and services listed, NJ 2-1-1 provides the public with front door access to non-profit, government and faith-based services, as well as disaster response information. Follow us on Twitter @NJ211 and FB https: //www.facebook.com/nj211partnership/

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SOMA

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

South Orange Police Blotter - iPhone Reported Stolen from Basketball Courts

June 21, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of June 21

Burglary - The owner of a business on Vose Avenue reported that sometime between 12:45 p.m., Sunday, June 17,  and 10 a.m., Monday, June 18, actor(s) unknown forcibly gained access to the business through the front door, rummaged through cabinets and desks and removed some personal items (including Bose brand speakers ...

South Orange Police Blotter: Robbery Reported on South Orange Avenue

South Orange Police Blotter as of June 16

Robbery - An Alpha, NJ resident reported that he was robbed on Sunday, June 3, at approximately 12:30 a.m. while he was walking on South Orange Avenue near Scotland Road. The victim stated that he was approached by three unknown actors who punched him and knocked him to the ground. The actors then stole his cell phone and wallet ...

South Orange's Allyson Murphy Mobilizes Mothers in Newark to Protest Trump Family Separation Policy

June 23, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - A group of New Jersey mothers took time to come to Newark with the kind of loved ones recently taken from other mothers: their children.

"It's unconscionable that our government is stealing children from their parents and locking them up in cages," said Christina Liu, a Montclair mom holding her baby daughter, commenting on President Donald Trump's recent ...

SOMA Celebrates Pride with Painted Lampposts in South Orange and Crosswalks in Maplewood

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Earlier this month, Maplewood celebrated Pride by painting rainbow crosswalks outside of Town Hall at the intersection of Oakview Avenue and Valley Street, which were unveiled with a celebration and ribbon cutting on Thursday, June 6.

Inspired by the Maplewood crosswalks, on Thursday evening, June 21, South Orange recognized Pride month by having community ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, June 26, 6:30 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Memoir Writing Class at Millburn Library

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Fri, June 29, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

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Tue, July 3, 4:30 PM

Maplewood Memorial Park, Maplewood

First Time Ever July 3rd Circus Performances and ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Other

Men’s Shul Softball League Unites in Livingston to Support Parkland Community

June 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Men’s Shul Softball League, consisting of teams from temples throughout Livingston, West Orange, Short Hills and other neighboring communities in Essex and Morris counties, gathered in Livingston prior to regular play on Sunday morning in support of Make Our Schools Safe, an organization started by the parents of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas (MSD) High School ...

Lecia Bianca Jewels Creates a Bridge to Make Bloomfield Center the Next Style Destination

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Center renaissance continues as Lecia Bianca Jewels becomes a style destination on main thoroughfare in this Essex County Community. Lecia Clay, owner of the boutique, describes her jewelry as 'bridge jewelry,' - pieces that are in a space between costume jewelry and fine jewelry, while having value. 

'Lecia Bianca' is the ...

Newark Cop Convicted of Reckless Manslaughter for 2016 Fatal Shooting of Piscataway Man

June 22, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ – A Newark police officer was convicted of reckless manslaughter in the death of a man outside Paddy’s Place in Union in May 2016, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

The officer, Joseph Macchia, 37, was convicted of fatally shooting 37-year-old Michael Gaffney of Piscataway following an argument and fight at Paddy’s ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced ...

South Orange Summer 2018 Student Leadership Institute

June 23, 2018

Program Overview and Application Form: (Deadline to Apply: Wednesday, June 27)

The Township of South Orange Village is pleased to offer students the opportunity to learn and practice leadership skills in the areas of local government and civic engagement where they will interact with a variety of elected officials, municipal departments, and community leaders.

The Student Leadership ...

Welcome To South Orange, Drive 25!

With very few exceptions, the speed limit throughout the Village is 25 miles per hour.

Along with barbeques, trips down the shore, and local ice cream runs, July and August mark the summer driving season. If you are driving in, or through South Orange, that means driving at 25 miles per hour. “Welcome to South Orange, now drive 25” says Lt. Michael Corrigan, the head of the SOPD ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - June 22 to June 28

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Chobani Yogurt 32oz $6.99
Friendly’s Ice Cream 48floz $3.99
Turkey Hero $5.99 ea (Deli)
Brad’s Blues Tortilla Chips  $2.99
Housemade Premade Lemonade 16oz $4.99 (Bakery)
Red Wax Gouda $5.99lb ...