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Babylon offers free tax preparation for low-income filers

Babylon Town hall in Lindenhurst, July 9, 2017.

Babylon Town hall in Lindenhurst, July 9, 2017. Credit: Steve Pfost

The Town of Babylon is now partnering with the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island to help low-income residents file their taxes for free. 

Residents who earned less than $54,000 in 2017 can receive free tax preparation through the council’s Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. This is the third year of the program, which is funded by Citi Community Development. 

Town residents who qualify can come to any of the town’s five senior centers or the Lindenhurst Library. Other sites are the Riverhead library, Our Lady of Loretto Church in Hempstead and the council’s headquarters in Melville. Tax documents will be scanned and uploaded and an off-site tax preparer will review the paperwork and contact the resident via phone to complete the tax return. Residents can then sign their name electronically or return to one of the locations to sign. The service is available through April 17, the last day to file 2017 taxes.

Rebecca Sanin, president and CEO of the council, said the program aims to help residents receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is for those earning between $15,010 and $53,930, depending on qualifying factors. According to the Internal Revenue Service, last year 25.8 million people received $63.8 billion in the credits. 

Last year, the program helped nearly 300 residents get $204,000 in federal refunds and $51,000 in state refunds, Sanin said.

Madeline Quintyne-McConney, commissioner of human services for the town, said that she has been hearing from many seniors worried about what the recent federal tax legislation changes mean for them. 

“It’s a great service, it’s free and no one can benefit from this more than our seniors in the town,” she said. For more information call the council at 516-483-1110. 

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