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Department of Taxation and Finance

$2.5 Billion in Refunds Waiting to be Claimed—Don’t Delay, File Now! With only 20 days until the April 18 deadline, more than four million taxpayers have yet to file

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that, with just 20 days left before the deadline, more than four million New Yorkers have yet to file their tax returns. The Tax Department expects to refund more than $2.5 billion after those taxpayers do submit their returns. The average refund amount this year is $920.

“Because millions of taxpayers put off filing their returns until crunch time, these final 20 days are the busiest for our processing team,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. “Despite the end-of-season rush, we continue to efficiently process and analyze each return to ensure accuracy and detect fraud.”

Free tax preparation options

Commissioner Boone also reminded taxpayers who haven’t filed about the free options available to eligible New Yorkers. The Tax Department’s "e-file for free" initiative allows those with federal adjusted gross income under $62,000 to save the expense of hiring a preparer or purchasing software by filing both their federal and state income tax returns at no cost.

Easy to use software available on the Tax Department website walks the taxpayer through the simple filing process one step at a time. Taxpayers accessing “free” software can only be sure that they won’t be charged unexpected fees if they use the options available on the Tax Department website.

Taxpayers with incomes under $62,000 can also visit one of 85 free tax assistance sites across the state. Tax Department volunteers are available to answer questions as taxpayers file their own returns using user-friendly software. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted at many locations on a first-come, first-served basis.

Benefits of e-filing

Of the six million returns filed so far this year, 97% were filed electronically. The number of paper returns decreases annually as more discover the benefits of e-filing. E-filing is faster, safer, and more accurate than filing paper returns. Here’s why:

  • E-filers can receive their refunds twice as fast.
  • Automatic encryption protects personal and financial information.
  • User-friendly software does the math for taxpayers, reducing the error rate by 20% compared with paper returns.

Deadline extended

New York taxpayers have three extra days to file their personal income tax returns this year. This year’s deadline is Monday, April 18, 2016. That’s because Washington, DC, celebrates Emancipation Day on Friday, April 15, 2016, pushing the filing deadline to the following Monday for most of the nation, including New York State.

If taxpayers don’t believe they can file their returns within the next three weeks, they must file for an automatic six-month extension. An extension doesn’t provide more time to pay taxes owed. Taxpayers must pay the properly estimated amount of tax owed when requesting the extension.

For more information