- The average fee charged for a tax return is approximately $350. For those individuals who earn minimum wage, that can represent nearly 5 days of work. This does not include the cost for the “rapid refund” which is usually about $200. Low income filers can easily pay nearly $500. Our goal is to keep that money in the pockets of low income Niagara County residents—and keep them away from the for profit sites which prey on the financially unstable population.
- To increase their business, for profit tax companies cluster in low income neighborhoods. Current statistics show that nearly 70% of low income families use a commercial tax preparer. This is why our program—and our locations—is vital for our communities.
FREE Tax Prep at Two Niagara County Locations; Call Now to Book Appointment
Don’t Get Ripped Off! For Profit Tax Prep Sites Take Advantage of Low Income Families
There are Over 40 For Profit Sites in Niagara County
Did you know that the City of Niagara Falls has 23 for profit tax prep companies—and that Lockport has 18? And that they charge on average $500 for a tax refund? Every tax season, for profit tax preparation companies take advantage of low income individuals.
Knowing this, several years ago, Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) formed the Niagara County Financial Literacy Coalition (now known as the Niagara County Financial Empowerment Coalition) to economically empower low income Niagara County residents—and free tax preparation is a central service provided. Our main goal was to provide these services in Niagara County as no other group helped the low income population increase their financial capability. Free Tax Prep Programs in Niagara Falls and Lockport are held every year.
We kick off our 2020 VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program/Free Tax Prep Program on January 28thbut encourage you to call now to set up an appointment! Our appointments book up very fast.
And here are some more reasons why Free Tax Prep is so important:
We have two Niagara County locations:
Orleans/Niagara BOCES: 50 Main Street, Lockport
Tuesdays 3:30 – 7:30 pm
Pinnacle Community Services (Formerly known as Family and Children Services) 1522 Main Street, Niagara Falls
Wednesdays 3:30 – 7:30 pm
Appointments for this service can be scheduled by calling 712-2060. Household income must be approximately $56,000 or less. Appointments are available on Tuesdays in Lockport and on Wednesdays in Niagara Falls from January 28th through April 8, 2020.