Qualifying taxpayers will have four different ways to file their taxes for free this year, thanks to Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the only financial institution to offer the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on Long Island. Now in its 20th year, Bethpage’s VITA program is open to all eligible Long Islanders, including non-Bethpage members.
The first option available to taxpayers is Bethpage’s Traditional In-Person VITA program where taxpayers will meet with Bethpage’s trained volunteers in-person, who will then prepare and e-file the tax returns. Appointments will take place on Thursdays at Roosevelt High School, from February 9 – April 6, from 10AM-4PM; on Tuesdays at Stony Brook University, from February 14 – April 4, from 3PM-6PM; and on Tuesdays at Touro University, from February 21 – April 4, from 4PM-8PM. To register, contact Bethpage’s Community Development team at 516/349-4288 or email them directly at email@example.com.
The second option available to taxpayers is Bethpage’s Virtual VITA program where taxpayers will meet with Bethpage’s trained volunteers virtually, who will then prepare and e-file the tax returns. Virtual appointments will take place Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from February 1 – April 6, 2023. Pre-scheduled appointments are required and can be made on Bethpage’s website at lovebethpage.com/vita.
The third option Bethpage is making available through its ongoing VITA initiative is its In-Person Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA) program. Here, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance employee volunteers will help taxpayers prepare and e-file income tax returns for free, at select Long Island libraries throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Appointments will take place February 14 & March 28, 9AM-5PM at Bellmore Memorial Library; March 14 & April 11, 9AM-5PM at Central Islip Public Library; February 7 & March 7, 9AM-2:30PM at Lindenhurst Library; March 21 & April 4, 9:30AM-5:30PM at South Country Library in Bellport & February 21 & February 28, 9:30AM-5:30PM at West Babylon Public Library. To register, contact Bethpage’s Community Development team at 516/349-4288 or email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The final option available is Bethpage’s VITA “Use Our Software for Free” TaxSlayer (FSA) program, which will make tax filing software available for free to qualifying taxpayers, after they participate in prerequisite lab sessions to learn how to use the software to e-file tax returns themselves. To participate, taxpayers must first view an information webinar, presented by Bethpage and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. To register, contact Bethpage’s Community Development team at email@example.com.
“This is our 20th year of partnering with the IRS to provide free tax filing assistance to the community,” said Ever Martinez, Community Development Relationship Manager, Bethpage. “And this year, we have four different filing options available, including a return to our traditional, in-person option, offered now for the first time since the pandemic.”
Bethpage VITA volunteers will also educate eligible working families about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) while preparing tax returns. The EITC is an anti-poverty program available to four out of five eligible Long Island households and could put an extra $6,935 into the hands of deserving Long Island families. Credit amounts are based on income levels, filing status and other factors.
“You don’t have to be a Bethpage member to sign up for our VITA program, said Robert Suarez, Assistant Vice President, Bethpage. “Tax returns and tax credits provide individuals and families with money back that can make a large impact on their quality of life. We encourage those who are eligible, to register.”
—Submitted by the Bethpage Federal Credit Union