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Department of Taxation and Finance

E-file an Accurate and On-Time Return Without Falling Victim to Scammers NYS Tax Department offers late-season filing tips and scam-prevention guidance

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today offered late-season tax filing tips to help taxpayers avoid scams and stress as the April 17 deadline approaches.
With less than two days remaining, roughly 2 million New Yorkers have yet to submit their personal income tax returns.

“When you’re racing against the clock to file your tax returns ahead of the April 17 deadline, mistakes can happen, prompting avoidable interaction with us and delays in any refund due,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “Free filing options for those eligible and filing guidance available at our website can ease the process and help you e-file a mistake-free return.”

Tax filing tips

To help New Yorkers file a problem-free return, Acting Commissioner Manion offers these tips:

File and pay electronically. E-filing is safer and more efficient than sending paper returns through the mail. About 92% of all NYS personal income tax returns are electronically prepared and filed. All returns, whether filed electronically or on paper, undergo the same systematic review.

File for free. Taxpayers with adjusted gross household incomes of $66,000 or less in 2017 may access free, user-friendly software from their computer, smartphone, or tablet at (search: freefile2017). The tax preparation software helps reduce filing errors that can delay return processing and refunds. It also prevents valuable credits from being overlooked.

Use direct deposit. Receive your refund up to a week faster by having it directly deposited into your bank account. Be sure to double check the routing and account numbers for your account.

Always file on time. To avoid penalties and interest, file on time—even if you can’t pay in full; the penalties are much higher for late filing than for late payment. The tax filing deadline is Tuesday, April 17, 2018.
Call during extended hours. The Tax Department call center (518-457-5181) will remain open until 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow to assist taxpayers with last-minute tax return filing questions. Representatives expect to take about 28,000 calls ahead of tomorrow’s deadline. The call center’s normal hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Protect yourself and your information

To help New Yorkers protect themselves, Acting Commissioner Manion offers these tips:

Be on guard. Thieves posing as IRS agents or Tax Department employees use this time of year to prey on unsuspecting taxpayers. Their tactics can become aggressive and threatening, which isn’t how the Tax Department or the IRS will speak to taxpayers. Their tone is a clue that they’re imposters.

Provide your personal information only to someone you trust. Never meet anyone in person who claims to be a tax representative and insists you pay a debt.

Beware of “phishing” emails. Taxpayers may receive emails using legitimate-looking government logos and offering assistance in settling fake tax issues. Remember, the Tax Department and the IRS will never request personal or financial information by email.

Taxpayers can protect themselves against becoming victims by not clicking links in the bogus emails and instead going straight to the IRS or Tax Department website.

Avoid identity theft. Your tax return contains personal information, including your Social Security and bank account numbers. To prevent your sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands, store it in a secure place and provide it only to a tax preparer you trust. Also, regularly monitor your financial accounts for suspicious activity.

Report it. If you believe that you’ve been contacted by a scammer, have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, or suspect a tax preparer is engaging in illegal activities, visit the Tax Department’s Report fraud, scams, and identity theft webpage to learn how to make an anonymous report. The Tax Department reviews each complaint and takes corrective action as appropriate.