Online Education Classes for Retirees & Free Tax Prep Info.


Spring 2021 Education Classes will be offered online for members of the DC 37 Retirees Association in conjunction with the DC 37 Education Department. To register for these virtual classes, please fill out the application form, or register directly online, on the DC 37 website at 


The DC 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services (MELS) recently held a Tax Tips webinar at which MELS Co-Supervising Attorney Shelly Barasch, who is also an accountant, explained what’s new for tax year 2020. He also discussed filing status, standard and itemized deductions, tax credits and more.  View the MELS Tax Tips webinar video replay at or the MELS Tax Tips webinar slides at You can also have your taxes prepared and filed for free through the following programs.

FOOD BANK FOR NYC: Beginning Feb. 1, 2021, Food Bank for NYC is offering free, contactless tax preparation services for low income New Yorkers to help them get the refunds and credits they are entitled to, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that can be worth up to $8,852 for some families. Here is the Food Bank for NYC link:

VITA PROGRAM: In addition, The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Assistance is provided at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

NYS DEPT. OF FINANCE: Free tax preparation is also available through the New York State Department of Finance. Taxpayers with income of $72,000 or less in 2020 can complete and submit their federal and New York State income tax returns online for free. There is no need to pay for software or a tax preparer. Nearly 255,000 New York taxpayers used our Free File software last year, saving themselves an estimated $51 million in the process. To be directed to the free filing options, simply select Free File your income tax return on the Tax Department’s website.

To ensure you're not charged a fee, you must go to the Tax Department’s website to complete your return. You’ll save on tax preparation fees and added costs for software, prevent costly errors, and ensure that you directly receive any refund you’re owed in the most efficient way possible. Filing through the Tax Department website is 100% free. You can receive any refund owed up to two weeks sooner by e-filing your return and choosing direct deposit

AARP FOUNDATION TAX-AIDE: The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide provides in-person and remote tax assistance free of charge to anyone, with a special focus on taxpayers who are 50 or older or who have low to moderate income. Tax-Aide volunteers are located nationwide, and are trained and IRS-certified every year to make sure they know about and understand the latest changes and additions to the tax code. Tax help is provided in safe environments using a variety of methods based on a number of factors, including where you are located, COVID-19 spread, and volunteer availability. 

The IRS and New York State have delayed the 2020 tax filing and payment deadline for individuals to May 17, 2021. However, the extended due date doesn't apply to estimated tax payments. These payments are still due on April 15.