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Department of Taxation and Finance

Tax Tips to Ensure an Easy Filing Process NYS Tax Department puts filing resources at your fingertips

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today offered some last-minute advice to taxpayers who have yet to file their personal income tax returns.

“The first suggestion is don’t wait any longer—and don’t file in a rush,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “File carefully to avoid errors that can slow the processing of your return and any refund owed. In most cases, all the resources you need are available on our website.”

More filing tips:

E-file — Join the 92% of New Yorkers who e-file. E-filed returns are 20 times less likely to have an error. An accurately filed return, using provable information, is the best way to ensure timely processing and the speedy issuance of any refund taxpayers may be due.
File for free — Individuals and families with adjusted gross household income of $64,000 or less can prepare and file both their federal and state income tax returns for free at our website——or at one of our free tax assistance sites located across New York State. Tax Department employees will help guide you through the user-friendly software at each location. Visit to find a convenient location near you.

Claim the credits you deserve — All New York taxpayers—whether their filing status is single, married filing a joint return, etc.—should check their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC can reduce the amount of taxes owed or provide a substantial refund. EITCs are refundable federal, New York State, and New York City credits for working taxpayers. The maximum credits increase annually and vary based on factors including family income and the number of children. For tax year 2016, the maximum total of federal, state, and New York City EITC credits is $8,463 (for a family with three children). Learn about this valuable credit and others, including the child and dependent care credit and college tuition credit, at our Income tax credits page.

Use direct deposit for your refund — Taxpayers who e-file and choose direct deposit can receive their refund twice as fast as those who file on paper and choose to have a check mailed to their home. A paper check can take an extra week or more. If you hire a tax preparer, make sure your refund is deposited into your account—not the preparer's.

Check your refund online — Taxpayers can quickly view the status of their NYS tax refund anytime by clicking the Check Refund Status button on the Tax Department website: It’s the fastest and most convenient way to know when to expect your refund. It provides the same information available to our phone representatives.

Don’t have a computer or smart phone? The Tax Department’s automated refund status phone line is available any time at 518-457-5149.

Call during extended hours — On the final two days of the filing season, Monday, April 17 and Tuesday, April 18, the call center (518-457-5181) will remain open until 7:30 p.m. to assist taxpayers with last minute tax return filing questions. The call center’s normal hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

File for an extension — Rather than file in a rush, request an automatic six-month extension before the due date. An extension doesn’t provide more time to pay taxes owed. You must pay the properly estimated amount of tax owed when requesting the extension.