New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox said today that millions of personal income taxpayers may qualify to prepare and file their state and federal tax returns for free.
"There are only six days left to file your 2011 income tax return. You or your family members may be eligible for the state and federal Free File program if you had earnings of $57,000 or less in 2011," Commissioner Mattox explained. "You can complete your own returns, and file from home using your own computer."
Because Free File is electronic, those who qualify for a refund will get it faster. Using Free File also reduces the number of errors on a tax return because the software checks and corrects common mistakes.
You don't have to be a tax expert or computer savvy to use Free File. The commercial software companies that participate in the initiative offer user-friendly and secure online programs.
"When eligible taxpayers use Free File, aimed at helping lower and moderate-income New Yorkers, they also learn about important credits and deductions they might be eligible for, such as the earned income tax credit," Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas Mattox said. "Here's an opportunity to save money, and make the filing process easier."
Use state Web site to avoid charges
In order to file both federal and state personal income tax returns for free, eligible taxpayers must access Free File through the New York State Tax Department's Web site - www.tax.ny.gov.
Lower income tax rates for estimated taxpayers
Individuals who file first-quarter estimated income tax payments will be the first to do so under new, lower tax rates.
Income tax rates will be lower than last year for individuals with taxable income greater than $40,000 for a married couple filing jointly, $30,000 for a head of household or $20,000 for single filers. The lower rates are already in place for those whose employers withhold their taxes.
As an example of the new lower rates, the tax rate for a married couple filing jointly with taxable income between $40,001 and $150,000 is now reduced from 6.85% to 6.45%.
The new rates were signed into law in December by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and represent the lowest tax rates for middle-income New Yorkers in 58 years.
Taxpayers have until Tuesday, April 17 to file their personal income tax returns and estimated returns this year.