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Department of Taxation and Finance

Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA) program

Until further notice, all of our FSA sites are closed due to the Governor's Executive Order.

For step-by-step instructions on using the same software provided at our FSA sites, and videos to help you prepare to file and choose the software that's right for you, see Get ready to e-file your income tax return.


Which software option is right for me?

Using your own computer, tablet, or mobile device, you can use free tax preparation software to prepare and e-file your basic federal and state income tax returns. There are no income limits to e-file basic returns.

You are filing a basic tax return if:

  • your 2019 income was reported on one or more of the following—

    • Form W-2
    • 1099-G
    • Form 1099-R or 1099-INT
    • Form 1098-T
    • Form 1095, and
  • you are not filing any of these schedules—

    • 1099-MISC. report income or loss from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor
    • 1099-B report capital gains and losses
    • Report income or loss from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, estates, trusts, and residual interests in REMICs.

If you need to file one of the following schedules and your 2019 income was $69,000 or less, you can prepare your federal and state returns using other free filing software and your own computer, tablet, or mobile device.

  • Schedule C (Form 1040), to report self-employed income or income or loss from a business you operated or a profession you practiced as a sole proprietor
  • Schedule D (Form 1040), to report capital gains and losses
  • Schedule E (Form 1040), to report income or loss from rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, S corporations, estates, trusts, and residual interests in REMICs

Review eligibility criteria for each software provider before selecting a product.

The eligibility requirements for each software provider are different. If you do not meet the criteria for the software provider you choose, the software provider may charge you a fee. Please read the qualifying criteria carefully before you get started.

Remember, no matter which option is right for you, e-file is always the fastest, easiest, safest choice!

How to have a successful filing experience

The video below summarizes what you would learn by visiting one of our FSA sites in person and shows you how to complete your return off-site.

Demo: FSA - Free Filing for Your NYS Tax Return

Demo: FSA - Free Filing for Your NYS Tax Return

Gather the following to prepare to file your return: 

  • email address
  • copy of last year’s tax return or your prior year federal adjusted gross income (FAGI)
  • photo ID
  • driver license or state-issued non-driver ID (for you and your spouse, if filing jointly)
  • birth dates and Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • proof of income (wages, interest and dividend statements):
    • Forms W-2, 1098, 1099
    • any other documents showing additional income
  • Forms 1095-A, B, or C, Affordable Healthcare Statement
  • information related to any credits you’re claiming
  • your banking information (the account number and the routing number for your bank, which you can find on a blank check)

  • If you’re using the software for the first time, the average tax return takes about an hour and a half to complete.
  • If you’re a returning user, the average return will take about an hour, as the software saves your information from year to year.

When you create your account, you’ll need to:

  1. Decide on your user name. It must be at least six characters.
  2. Create a password. It must:
    • be at least eight characters,
    • include at least one uppercase letter,
    • include at least one lowercase letter,
    • include at least one number, and
    • include at least one special character ($,#,%, or !).
  3. Choose three security questions and answers (each question must have a different answer).

After you file your return, you need to:

  • Complete and save Free File Software Account Information and keep it in a safe place. You will need this information to login to  your account in the future.
  • Keep a printed copy of the return and confirmation page, if applicable, for your records.
  • Check your email to ensure your return is accepted.
  • If your return is rejected, follow the instructions provided in the email to resolve the issue and re-submit.

Please review our E-file disclaimer.

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