Albany, NY - January 27, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of 85 free tax filing assistance sites across New York State. These new locations will add to the expanding network of sites that help eligible New Yorkers file timely and accurate returns at no charge. The State is offering 1,200 sessions – a 600 percent increase since the program was launched in 2014– at 85 locations statewide. Each site is staffed by State Department of Taxation and Finance tax experts who are available to assist eligible New Yorkers with electronically filing their 2015 taxes.
“Every hard-working New Yorker should be able to benefit from all tax credits that apply to them, and by offering this free assistance we can make sure that happens,” said Governor Cuomo. “This is an important resource for people to utilize, and I’m proud that our administration is continuing to increase our support to taxpayers statewide. With the April 15 filing deadline just a few months away, I encourage all New Yorkers who qualify to take advantage of this free service.”
A total of 85 locations will open statewide this year, up from 80 last year. Staffed by 350 NYS Tax Department volunteers who guide taxpayers through tax preparation software, these sites will offer 1,200 morning, evening, and weekend sessions, an increase of 250 sessions over last year. More than 5,000 taxpayers were assisted at these locations during the January to April filing season in 2015.
The free tax assistance service is available to New York individuals and families who earned less than $62,000 in 2015. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted at many locations on a first-come, first-served basis.
Select sites offer staff who can speak foreign languages, including Chinese, Spanish, or Russian. View the list of tax sites and session dates here
Most New York taxpayers are eligible to e-file their personal income tax returns for free, yet more than 70% still hire a tax preparer to complete the return, which often costs hundreds of dollars per filing.
Jerry Boone, New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance said, “By taking advantage of this free service, more taxpayers can effectively fulfill their tax responsibilities and claim the refunds they may be due.”
Taxpayers will also discover that filing their returns from one of these sites helps them receive all of the tax credits for which they’re eligible, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Care Dependent Credit. Visit online for more information on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can mean as much as $8,000 in benefits for working families.
To find free electronic filing assistance near you, call the Department of Taxation and Finance at 518-457-5181 or visit tax.ny.gov/fsa/.
The IRS and AARP also offer a directory of 800-plus sites where certified volunteers will help eligible taxpayers prepare and e-file their taxes. The free service is available to individuals and families earning $54,000 or less. A list of sites is available here.