By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Is state Sen. Marty Golden, a cop-turned-politician, looking to add another job title to his resume? Like accountant?
Unlikely, but Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) is offering to do his constituents’ tax returns for free.
Golden, who every year opens his district office at 7408 Fifth Ave. in Bay Ridge as a tax preparation site under the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, is once again offering free tax help to residents living in his district. The program turns Golden’s busy district office into a makeshift H&R Block center, as accountants come in to assist residents with their deductions, interest dividends and other forms.
There’s a catch, however. You must make $30,000 or less a year to qualify for the free help.
Appointments will be available two days a week, Thursdays and Sundays, from Feb. 16 through April 13. Thursday appointments will be scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Sunday appointments will be from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program offers free tax help to people under a certain income level who need assistance in preparing their tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation. The volunteers can also inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Volunteer tax sites are generally located at community centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls and elected officials offices.
"I once again look forward to helping hundreds of my constituents complete their tax returns at no charge,” Golden, a retired New York Coty police officer, said. “For 16 years, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program has proven to be an invaluable service to those who qualify. This year will be no different in that we offer an opportunity for low income constituents to keep the money in their pockets that they would otherwise have spent on tax preparation services.”
A member of Golden’s staff told the Brooklyn Eagle that the tax prep service is enormously popular with the lawmaker's constituents. “People love it,” he said.
Appointments are necessary and can be scheduled by calling Golden’s district office at 718-238-6044.