Assemblyman Santabarbara Wants You to Know There’s Help This Tax Season

Filing taxes may feel like a daunting task every year, but it doesn’t have to be. There is plenty of help available to ease the burden at no cost to many families in Montgomery County. In fact, by taking advantage of this assistance, tax professionals can find out if families and individuals are eligible for tax breaks like the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC) that will provide much-needed tax relief. A surprising number of families who qualify for the EITC don’t take advantage of it, mainly because they aren’t aware the credit exists or how valuable it can be. Combined, the state and federal EITC refunds can total up to $7,658 in refunds, which can go a long way in helping working families make ends meet.i With assistance from free tax preparation professionals, eligible families are sure to get the biggest return possible. That’s why I’m encouraging all eligible families to claim the EITC before the April 15 deadline. To qualify for the New York State and federal EITC, you must:

  • have worked full or part time at some point during the calendar year;
  • be a single or married person raising qualifying children at home;
  • have income below $36,920 ($42,130 if married) with one child;
  • have income below $41,952 ($47,162 if married) with two children;
  • have income below $45,060 ($50,270 if married) with three or more children; or
  • be a worker between the ages of 25 and 65, earning less than $13,980 ($19,190 if married) with no children.
In addition, individuals and families in Montgomery County who make $51,000 or less may also be able to take advantage of free tax preparation and filing services. Families who make $57,000 or less are able to fill out their taxes for free online at The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program also offers free tax preparation services by appointment only from Jan. 30 to April 15. This service is done in-person by IRS-certified volunteers and is offered at the following Fulmont Community Action Agency locations: 20 Park St., Montgomery County Annex, RM 206
853-8351 200 Canal St.
Fort Plain
993-3230 For seniors who are in need of extra assistance, AARP offers free tax preparation services by appointment at the following locations: Horace J. Inman Senior Center
53 Guy Park Ave.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Arkell Center
55 Montgomery St.
Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Military personnel can also file for free using Military One Source. This resource allows free use of H&R Block At Home® Basic software. Those eligible for these tax services, include:
  • all active duty service members;
  • National Guard and members of the Reserve (regardless of activation status);
  • members of the Coast Guard Reserve activated as part of the Department of the Navy under Title 10 authority;
  • spouses and dependent children who are authorized in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reports System (DEERS);
  • a family member who is taking care of the affairs of an eligible service member when the service member is deployed; or
  • a severely injured service member of one of the services noted above, or a designated family member of a severely injured member who is incapable of handling his or her own affairs; medically retired individuals are eligible until 180 days past their End of Tour of Service, retirement date or discharge date.
It’s critical that Montgomery County families take full advantage of these resources to make sure they are getting their full refund this tax season. This help relieves the stress of filing taxes and ensures it’s done correctly and on time. As always, feel free to contact me regarding this or any other important community issue at 843-0227 or at