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The original item was published from 1/30/2018 9:44:32 AM to 3/3/2018 12:05:06 AM.

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Posted on: January 30, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Town of Babylon Announces Free Tax Prep Program with Health and Welfare Council of Long Island

Town of Babylon Councilman Terry McSweeney joined Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island (HWCLI), to announce a new tax preparation program to provide for individuals that make less than $54,000 a year. The announcement was made at the Town of Babylon’s North Amityville Senior Center. Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, Town of Babylon Department of Human Services Commissioner Madeline Quintyne-McConney and Vice President of Citi Community Development Pat Edwards were also in attendance. Representatives from New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre’s office, Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) joined them.

The Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program gives individuals who meet the income requirements the opportunity for free tax assistance, rather than seeking help from companies who regularly charge high rates for the same service with minimal returns. Evaluations are prepared off-site and returned to participants within a matter of days.

According to Sanin, many individuals who qualify for VITA are also eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which paid out tens of billions of dollars across the country last year. 

“We hope as many people as possible take advantage of this free program, and by doing so, save money up front on tax preparation services and check their eligibility for the EITC.” Sanin said to a group of seniors who gathered at the center to learn more about the program. At the conclusion of the event, Sanin and Tommi-Grace Melito, the director of VITA, answered the seniors’ questions and handed out information about the program.

Recently-elected Town Clerk Gerry Compitello helped coordinate the partnership between the Town of Babylon and HWCLI. She cites her past work with senior residents as the inspiration to provide them with a free, comprehensive service like VITA.

“We are so proud to be able to offer this service to our residents, especially our senior citizens,” said McSweeney. “Thank you to Rebecca and the rest of HWCLI for this great opportunity,” he added.

To learn more about the program schedule or requirements, call HWCLI at (516) 483-1110 and visit

Photo (left to right): Madeline Quintyne-McConney; Zach Giglio, Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey’s office; Brendan Cunningham, NYS Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre’s office; Marie Sturm, IRS; DuWayne Gregory; Terry McSweeney; Rebecca Sanin; Tommi-Grace Melito; Pat Edwards.

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