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Department of Taxation and Finance

Top 10 Things to Bring to Your Tax Preparer or a Free Tax Assistance Site Eligible taxpayers can ensure a smooth tax-filing process by gathering key documents

For Release: Immediate,

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

Also available in Spanish

New York State Taxpayer Advocate Margaret Neri today issued a top 10 list of key documents and information taxpayers should bring to their preparer or have handy when e-filing on their own. These documents are also essential to receive free assistance at NYS Tax Department tax-filing sites.

“If your income is $66,000 or less, you qualify to receive free filing assistance at our sites from Tax Department volunteers,” said New York State Taxpayer Advocate Margaret Neri. “Our volunteers will guide you through the tax preparation software, but you’ll need all the required information and documents to get started. You’ll need the same information if you e-file on your own from home or go to a professional tax preparer.”

What you’ll need:

  1. email address
  2. copy of last year’s tax return or the amount of your prior year’s federal adjusted gross income
  3. driver license or state-issued ID (for you and your spouse if filing jointly)
  4. birthdates and Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  5. income statements (wages, interest, and dividends), including W-2 and 1099 forms
  6. statements related to any property taxes paid or mortgage interest payments
  7. Forms 1095-A, B, or C, Affordable Healthcare Statement
  8. information related to any credits you’re claiming
  9. your banking information (account number and routing number)
  10. NY 529 College Savings Plan information if you have an account

Free tax assistance sites

Eligible filers can take advantage of the opportunity to safely and efficiently e-file their returns at free tax assistance sites. Tax Department experts will be available at each location to assist low- and middle-income New Yorkers through the filing process at no charge. At certain locations, they can assist taxpayers in multiple languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.

A schedule of dates, times, and locations for all free filing sessions statewide is available at Facilitated Self Assistance (FSA) program.

Want free tax preparation software?

You don’t need to visit a free tax assistance site, though: if eligible, you can also access and use the same free software anytime from your computer, smartphone, or tablet at

Search Free File on the Tax Department website to be directed to the tax preparation software. Using the software can reduce filing errors that delay return processing and refunds. It also prevents valuable credits from being overlooked.

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

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