Comptroller Mychajliw says free tax preparation service available

BUFFALO – Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw reminds taxpayers that
“tax season” is here and free assistance is available for those who need help preparing their tax filings.  Income taxes are due Monday, April 15, 2019.

Comptroller Mychajliw, a consumer advocate and Erie County’s top fiscal officer, reminds families to do their due diligence to find reputable agencies that provide free assistance in preparing tax returns.

“Filing income taxes is something we have to deal with, but for some members of our
community, the process can be overwhelming. There are many free resources available for
those who qualify and need assistance. However, before you provide your information to
anybody, be sure they are affiliated with a reputable organization. I have supplied a list of
locations throughout Erie County that are backed by M&T Bank, the United Way of Buffalo
and Erie County, AARP and the IRS,” said Comptroller Mychajliw.

“Tax season is when we often see scams, especially online. Before you file, be sure you are
using a legitimate company. Be on alert for scams. They can be difficult to spot and you can never be too careful. My office is committed to protecting taxpayers and is available to help anyone who is unsure where to obtain tax filing assistance.”

The following information is provided by the agencies who are offering free tax preparation
assistance.

Northwest Buffalo Community Center, located at 155 Lawn Ave. in Buffalo, in collaboration
with M&T Bank and the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, is offering a Free Tax Return
Preparation And Electronic Filing Program from 4:30-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 a.m. –
2:30 p.m. on Saturdays. IRS trained and certified volunteers available to help individuals
(who earned less than $60,000) file their tax return.  Help is offered on a first come, first served basis. For information and a list of necessary documentation, please visit www.northwestbuffalo.org or call 876-8108.

The AARP Foundation is hosting 14 Tax-Aide sites throughout Erie County to help residents.
Dates and times vary at each location. AARP’s Tax-Aide sites are as follows:

  • Aurora Senior Center
  • Cheektowaga Senior Center
  • City of Tonawanda Senior Center
  • Clarence Library
  • Clarence Senior Center
  • Concord Senior Center
  • Eggertsville-Snyder Library
  • Ensminger Senior Citizens Center
  • Grand Island Golden Age Center
  • Kenmore Library
  • Lackawanna Senior Center
  • Lancaster Senior Center
  • Orchard Park Senior Center
  • Valley Community Association

Tax-Aide helps low- and moderate-income taxpayers. You do not have to be an AARP
member, and there is no age requirement. Call 888-227-7669 or email taxaide@aarp.org
with questions. Visit www.aarp.org and find “AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program” for
additional information.

In addition, the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. For information on
times and dates and the sites’ addresses, please visit https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep
and type in your zip code. IRS locations include, Daemen College; SUNY at Buffalo Beta
Alpha Psi South, Hayes Hall 403; 1199SEIU Upstate – Buffalo; Frank E. Merriweather Jr.
Library and SUNY EOC Buffalo.

The VITA program offers free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 or less,
persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in
preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax
return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.

In addition to VITA, the TCE program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS.

All of this information and more is available on Comptroller Mychajliw’s website at
www.erie.gov/comptroller. Please contact Comptroller Mychajliw’s Office at 858-8404 if
you need assistance finding a location or have a question.

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