And we are off! UNHP’s Northwest Bronx Resource Center began providing free tax preparation on January 29th, 2014 at Refuge House. As of 2/11/14, we have provided free tax preparation to 227 low and moderate income Bronx residents and a range of financial services.
During our 14 tax days we are able to open bank accounts, run credit reports, offer a brief financial coaching session, screen for public benefits and sign people up for financial coaching, financial education workshops, small business help and homeowner assistance. We also bring our services on the road to do 5 on-site tax preparation at local senior housing developments and social service centers.
UNHP partners with Ariva and Fordham Bedford Community Services (FBCS) on free tax preparation utilizing Ariva’s tax expertise and site management as well as additional staff and the Heiskell Technology Center from FBCS. Lift has been screening people for public benefits and linking tax clients with their job placement services and both Apple and Spring Bank can open same day bank accounts for those people who do not have an account, but would like to take advantage of direct deposit. The program is managed by UNHP staff but powered by volunteer tax preparers and intake staff from Fordham University, Manhattan College and The Roosevelt Educational Campus.
For the first time this year, UNHP is offering free credit reports and a brief financial coaching session to clients on their tax day. UNHP can also schedule free financial coaching appointments and sign interested people up for a 5 session financial education workshop that starts on March 27th. In addition to providing free and accurate tax preparation to low income residents, UNHP views this as an opportunity to connect our clients to the range of financial services provided by the Northwest Bronx Resource Center and our partners.