From 2010 to 2011, NYCOFI focused on establishing a solid base for the organization. During that time, NYCOFI launched programs reaching thousands of New Yorkers, including the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that prepared 576 returns and helped families claim almost $300,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits.
NYCOFI is in its third year of existence with an innovative and ambitious agenda, building on five Strategic Goals:
- Providing policy research and communications capacity to build broad support for worker rights, including assisting with a needs assessment to support ongoing worker organizing.
- Engaging in public education and advocacy efforts for policy and administrative reforms to preserve and expand affordable housing and eliminate housing discrimination.
- Stabilizing neighborhoods through preventing foreclosures, including engaging in comprehensive research to examine potential systemic patterns of abuse or fraud.
- Initiating a strategic communications campaign to educate New York City residents about disparities in local schools as part of a larger effort to increase access to quality public education.
- Educating the community about hazards such as PCBs to promote healthy and safe communities.
Programmatically, NYCOFI operates an income tax preparation and Earned Income Tax Credit outreach program in East New York that provides free tax preparation services for low income New Yorkers. Community members are able to complete their taxes for no charge while learning about eligibility of various entitlement programs.
- In 2011, our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program prepared more than 500 returns and helped families claim almost $300,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits.
- In 2012, we assisted almost a thousand taxpayers in receiving close to $900,000 in refunds.
- Our third year was the most successful so far, with an average refund of more than $2,000 and total refunds of $1,238,493!
Our tax program is currently closed until January 2014. If you are interested in volunteering with the VITA program through the IRS, you can find out more information here.