For the 10th year, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, will assist low- to moderate-income households on Long Island prepare their tax returns for free by offering Long Island’s largest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at 12 of its Long Island branches, including Farmingdale.
Now through April 13, 150 IRS certified volunteers, including bilingual tax assistors, will be available to meet with eligible taxpayers with 2012 incomes of $49,000 and below to file tax returns. Bethpage’s VITA Program is open to all eligible Long Islanders, including non-Bethpage members.
VITA services will be available on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons in 12 Bethpage branches including: Farmingdale, Elmont, Freeport, Hempstead, Massapequa, Roosevelt, Westbury, Bay Shore, Central Islip, Patchogue, West Babylon and Riverhead.
For specific times and branch addresses, go to www.bethpagefcu.com or call 1-800-628-7070.
“This is an important free service that those eligible should take advantage of," said Linda Armyn, Senior Vice President, Bethpage.
As part of its VITA program, Bethpage announced its partnership with the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island to help educate eligible taxpayers about the EITC, which each year goes unclaimed for thousands, and could bring an additional up to $7,500 into the hands of deserving Long Island families.
VITA volunteers will work with taxpayers to ensure that eligible families know how to claim their Earned Income Tax Credit, which could be claimed up to three years back. Currently, according to the IRS, 20 percent of Long Islanders are eligible to receive the EITC because of unemployment and declining wages.
Bethpage coordinates the largest VITA program on Long Island. In 2012, Bethpage completed 1,517 VITA tax returns and helped secure IRS total refunds of nearly $1.5 million.