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File On Time—and for Free—at One of 54 Free Tax Assistance Sites Statewide New York taxpayers with adjusted gross household income of $64,000 or less in 2016 qualify

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today encouraged eligible New York taxpayers to take advantage of the free tax return filing assistance available across the state. Taxpayers can file their taxes online with assistance from Tax Department employees at any of the 54 Facilitated Self-Assistance (FSA) site locations statewide. There are nearly 200 free tax filing sessions available through the April 18 filing deadline. 

To find a convenient location near you and to schedule an appointment, visit www.tax.ny.gov/fsa.

Determine eligibility

New York taxpayers with adjusted gross household incomes of $64,000 or less in 2016 qualify to file their tax returns at any of the FSA sites using free online software. The tax software helps reduce errors and ensures that valuable credits are claimed.

Taxpayers with adjusted gross household incomes of $64,000 or less who can’t visit a filing location can access software at www.tax.ny.gov to file both their federal and state tax returns for free (search: free file).

“The error rate for e-filed returns is 20 times lower than it is for paper returns, speeding processing and refunds,” said Acting Commissioner Nonie Manion. “In addition, the Tax Department provides a highly secure, encrypted system designed to protect your personal and confidential information.”

About 92% of all personal income tax returns in New York are filed electronically.

“The free tax return filing assistance program is an invaluable service to New Yorkers,” said Bonnie Sikes, who used the service at a site in Buffalo. “The guidance supplied by friendly, knowledgeable, and patient Tax Department staff makes for a truly pleasant experience. I hope this program continues to be offered each year.”

By e-filing at home or at any of the FSA sites, taxpayers will help ensure that they receive tax credits for which they’re eligible. Tax credits can mean thousands of dollars in savings to taxpayers. For instance, Earned Income Tax Credits are refundable federal, New York State, and New York City credits for working taxpayers. For tax year 2016, the maximum total of federal, state, and New York City EITCs is $8,463 (for a family with three children).

What to bring

To ensure a successful session, taxpayers must bring the following when visiting one of our free tax return filing assistance sites:

• a copy of last year’s tax return, if available;
• a 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 dependents;
• your 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;
• your Health Insurance Exemption Certificate (if received);
• supporting documents for any credits you’re claiming;
• bank account and routing numbers (such as a blank check); and
• your prior year adjusted gross income

“One Day FSA” events

The Tax Department is scheduling several “one day FSA” events throughout the state over the coming weeks. Visit www.tax.ny.gov/fsa for the dates, times, and locations for these additional free tax filing events.

File ahead of the April 18 deadline

The deadline to file 2016 tax returns and pay any tax due is Tuesday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. In 2017, April 15 falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day—a legal holiday in Washington, D.C.—will be observed on Monday, April 17.

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