NYC Launches Free Tax Prep For Self-Employed With CWPD And Freelancers Union

October 26, 2023

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga, in partnership with the Freelancers Union and Center for Family Life, today announced the launch of the full suite of NYC Free Tax Prep services for self-employed filers.

NYC Free Tax Prep for Self-Employed Filers provides free tax preparation services for gig workers, freelancers and small business owners who often face barriers to filing taxes and managing financial recordkeeping. In addition to providing annual and quarterly estimated tax filling preparation assistance, new workshops and one-on-one consultations will help the growing number of New Yorkers who perform gig and freelance work to learn the basics of tax filing and recordkeeping best practices as self-employed filers. 

“As New York City’s economy continues to evolve and grow — reaching a new record high of total jobs — we must develop resources that help New Yorkers do the same,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This partnership between DCWP, the Freelancers Union, and the Center for Family Life will provide free tax prep for self-employed New Yorkers and reduce a barrier holding New Yorkers back from pursuing their dreams — giving them the tools they need to thrive as freelancers in New York City.”

“Freelancers and gig workers contribute a significant and growing amount to our economy, and I am excited to see DCWP fully build out its offering of tools and resources for this community,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce. “This is but one way that we are leveling the play field and increasing access to financial education and services for all New Yorkers, including those that have historically not been as well-served.”

“As our city’s workforce continues to evolve, and more New Yorkers pursue freelance careers or entrepreneurship opportunities, it’s crucial we provide support and resources to help them thrive,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Thank you to the Freelancers Union, Center for Family Life, and all of our free tax and financial empowerment partners for collaborating with us. And thank you to the Mayor for championing innovative services to help more working New Yorkers reach their fullest potential.”

“As proud supporters of the Freelancers Hub, the official home of the Freelancers Union, we celebrate the launch of NYC Free Tax Prep for Self-Employed filers, which will greatly benefit NYC’s independent entertainment workforce,” said NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner, Pat Swinney Kaufman. “This service will be of extreme value to independent workers in the film and television industry who are being impacted by the current strike, and to all those whose livelihoods are supported by freelance work in our city’s entertainment sectors.” 

“So many of our city’s artists and creative workers are self-employed, either by choice or necessity, and this new tax prep service from our partners at the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection and Freelancers Union will be a game-changer for them financially,” said NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “For our city to thrive as a cultural capital, we need to remain a place where artist can continue to live and work, and concrete support like this is just one way the Adams administration is supporting these creative workers who are so important to our city’s overall health and vitality.” 


“Filing taxes and managing financial recordkeeping has for too long been a significant difficulty for the millions of New Yorkers who are freelance or self-employed workers,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “I applaud Commissioner Mayuga’s partnership with the Freelancers Union and the Center for Family Life to change that today, with the launch of NYC Free Tax Prep for Self-Employed Filers. As the sponsor of state-wide legislation that would strengthen labor protections for New York’s freelancers, I know that this program will have a resounding impact on the lives of freelancers and self-employed workers all across New York City.”

“Our city’s entrepreneurs, freelancers, and gig workers are critical to the success of our local economy and communities,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Providing self-employed filers with free tax preparation services and essential resources will empower them to effectively manage their records and tax filings. This partnership with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), Freelancers Union, and Center for Family Life will ensure all New Yorkers have the tools they need to succeed.”

“Tax season is often challenging for many, especially business owners who are filing for the first time. DCWP’s commitment to providing a full suite of services for Self-Employed Tax Prep is essential in uplifting our small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Council Member Marjorie Velazquez, Chair of the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection. “By investing in these resources, we are investing in our local economy and enabling business owners to achieve financial freedom.”

“Today’s launch marks a significant milestone for the freelance and self-employed community in New York City,” said Freelancers Union Executive Director, Rafael Espinal. “DCWP’s NYC Free Tax Prep program is a game-changer for freelancers and self-employed workers who often face unique challenges when it comes to tax preparation and financial record keeping. The NYC Free Tax Prep program is a vital step towards financial inclusion, offering not just tax assistance, but also opportunities for growth and stability. It’s a testament to the City’s commitment to supporting the growing independent workforce.”

“Center for Family Life in Sunset Park is deeply grateful to DCWP for the opportunity to offer tax filing support and education to local businesses, and in particular cooperatively owned business,” said Co-Executive Director of Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, Julia Jean-Francois. “Small businesses are the backbone of local neighborhood economies. Worker-ownership can be the first step for so many business owners, most especially immigrant business owners, to fulfill their lifelong dream of owning and operating a business that serves as the foundation for long-term asset building. This project provides services and education that fundamentally supports an agenda for economic justice and equity for all New Yorkers.” 

Announced as part of Mayor Adams’ “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery” and as part of the administration’s “Working People’s Tour” in celebration of the city reaching a new record of 4.7 million jobs and recovering the nearly one million jobs lost during the pandemic, NYC Free Tax Prep for self-employed individuals and business owners will now offer year-round access to specialized tax preparation services. New workshops will help self-employed individuals understand and learn their tax filing obligations, best practices for tax filing, effective recordkeeping skills, and more. One-on-one consultations provide self-employed New Yorkers an opportunity to speak with specially trained tax professionals about their business income and tax filing responsibilities. All self-employed New Yorkers are eligible for our workshops and consultations, but only those who make up to $59,000 as single filers, or $85,000 for families, and have business expenses under $250,000 are eligible for free annual and quarterly estimated tax preparation services.

“NMIC is proud to work in partnership with DCWP to expand the NYC Free Tax Prep program to self-employed individuals and businesses,” said NMIC Executive Director Maria Lizardo. “Through year-round workshops and personalized consultations, this vital program aims to empower our hard-working, self-employed community members by enhancing their comprehension of the intricate tax return process and maximizing their financial returns. We are excited for the opportunity to deepen this partnership and sustain it for years to come.”

“Project Hospitality is thrilled to partner with DCWP to provide NYC Free Tax Prep services for self-employed filers on Staten Island,” said Project Hospitality Executive Director, Jackie Stoll. “By offering multi-lingual workshops and one-on-one tax consultations, Project Hospitality will financially empower freelance and self-employed workers throughout the borough.”

Self-employed individuals can call 311 or visit nyc.gov/TaxPrep and search for sites that offer Self-Employed/Schedule C Assistance to find a location near them. Services are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 45,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp 

Freelancers Union is the largest and fastest-growing organization representing the 60 million independent workers across the country. It gives its over 500,000 members a voice through policy advocacy, benefits, online resources, and educational and community-building events in nearly two dozen cities. Since its founding, Freelancers Union has fought for and won protections for freelance workers, including the first-of-its-kind Freelance Isn’t Free Act in New York City, which gives freelancers unprecedented protection from nonpayment and underpayment. In 2018, Freelancers Union launched Freelancers Hub, a free coworking space and training and resource center for freelancers, with support from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Learn more at www.freelancersunion.org.


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