Audis is a single parent who came to Ariva for the first time in 2013. In past years, he had filed with a commercial tax preparer. After reviewing his returns, Ariva’s tax volunteer found that the commercial preparers had incorrectly done Audis’ taxes. They told him that, because his only source of income was disability income, he was not entitled to a refund. We corrected the tax returns and Audis’ received several thousand dollars in refunds. Since, then Audis has been a happy client of Ariva’s.
Gloria walked into Ariva’s free income tax center on 167 Street in the Bronx one day and it changed her financial life. Not only did we file Gloria’s tax return for her, but we helped her open her first bank account and we also worked with her to develop a budget that eventually allowed her to pay off completely a delinquent student loan.
To learn more about Gloria, check out the Daily News article where she shares her story. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/free-financial-advice-growing-number-income-new-yorkers-finding-tax-prep-centers-article-1.1699805
Henry, a native of Mexico, didn’t know much about the American financial system. Henry came to Ariva’s financial capabilities center at the Mexican Consulate in New York (the Ventanilla) where he filed his US income taxes for the first time, opened a bank account and began working with a counselor to pursue his financial goals. To learn more about the Ventanilla, and clients like Henry, watch the video on the Ventanilla.
Juan is a single parent who works very hard as a butcher in the Bronx. He has been filing his taxes with Ariva for three years. In the first year he came to us, he had identity-related issues that were red flagged with the IRS. Ariva helped him address the issues in question, which then enabled Juan to qualify for a savings incentive program he was very interested in. Juan was also one of many EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) filers randomly select for audit by the IRS; with Ariva’s help, Juan easily passed the audit and received his credit.
Maria is a professional chef. In 2016, Maria was newly single and filing taxes on her own for the first time; the IRS recommended she come to Ariva. Maria received a generous tax refund and she is very happy. She and her children are starting a new life and she is planning to use her refund to buy furniture for her new home. It was a pleasure for the Ariva team to work with Maria and we hope to see her again next year!
Aria’s Single Stop financial counselor helped Miriam check her credit report for the first time. Miriam discovered that she had a thin credit file and no credit score. With the guidance of Ariva’s counselor, Miriam began to build credit. She obtained her first credit card which she manages wisely; she never uses more than 30% of her credit limit and she pays her balance in full before her grace period is up to avoid paying interest. Ariva’s counselor also worked with Miriam on developing a budget to manage her expenses, including her credit card expense, without increasing debt. During her financial coaching sessions, Miriam decided to pursue her dream to start her own business. Today, Miriam no longer depends on her kids to help her pay her bills and expenses, she has excellent credit and her own growing, business.