Need help with taxes? Pols ready to assist

February 6, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Assemblymember Bill Colton says members of his staff are ready to answer questions from constituents about the new tax credit called the Enhanced Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners and Renters. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

Local lawmakers aren’t going to quit their positions to go work for the Internal Revenue Service anytime soon, but two elected officials in southwest Brooklyn said they stand ready to assist constituents with questions and concerns this tax season.

Assemblymember Bill Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) announced that staff members in his district office at 155 Kings Hwy. will be available to help constituents trying to determine if they are eligible for the New York City Enhanced Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners and Renters, a new tax credit for families earning below $200,000.

The city offers a tax credit of up to $500 based on a sliding income scale to all family households, whether they are homeowners or tenants. Co-op and condo owners are also eligible, Colton said. Each member of the household who qualifies for the tax credit is required to file a separate tax form, Form NYC-208.

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The tax credit is open to New York City residents who have occupied the same residence for six months or more during 2014.

Colton said his office is also available to provide assistance in Russian and Chinese.

Another Brooklyn lawmaker, state Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southwest Brooklyn), is not just answering tax-related questions. He is helping constituents get their tax forms filled out.

Golden allows his office to be used at a site for VITA (the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program), a program of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that offers free tax preparation services to qualifying residents. The program is open to taxpayers making less than $30,000 a year.

Tax help is available at Golden’s district office, 7408 Fifth Ave., by appointment only. Appointments are available on Sundays and Mondays from Feb. 15 through April 13. Sunday appointments will be scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday appointments are available from 6 to 9 p.m.

“For 17 years, my office has hosted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, an invaluable service to those who qualify, saving constituents hundreds of dollars they would otherwise spend in tax preparation services.  I urge all those who qualify to call now to make an appointment,” Golden said in a statement.

For more information, call Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044.

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