Skip to main content
Department of Taxation and Finance

Two Weeks to Go! Free Filing Resources Online and Across the State The Tax Department also highlights the benefits of e-filing and direct deposit

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded taxpayers that the filing deadline—April 15—is quickly approaching. With only two weeks remaining, the Tax Department is highlighting the free filing resources available online and at locations around the state.

“It’s crunch time for taxpayers who’ve waited until now to start thinking about filing their income tax returns, but not time to panic,” said New York State Taxpayer Rights Advocate Margaret Neri. “The Tax Department has plenty of free and convenient resources to help file an accurate return on time and receive any refunds due promptly."

Benefits of e-filing

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, regardless of how they’re filed, undergo the same systematic review.

Use direct deposit

To use direct deposit, simply check direct deposit on your tax return, then enter your bank’s nine-digit routing number and your account number. For checking accounts, this information is available on your checks; for savings accounts, contact your bank. Taxpayers can receive their refund up to two weeks sooner by choosing e-file and direct deposit.

Free filing options available

Taxpayers with adjusted gross household incomes of $66,000 or less in 2018 may use free, user-friendly software at to electronically prepare and file both their state and federal tax returns. Taxpayers can search Free File on the Tax Department website to be directed to the software. Using the software can reduce filing errors that delay return processing and refunds, and prevent valuable credits from being overlooked.

Eligible taxpayers can also visit a Tax Department free tax assistance site. For a schedule of dates, times, and locations for sessions statewide see Facilitated Self-Assistance (FSA) program.

Tax Department experts will be available at each site 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.

The Tax Department is also partnering with the IRS to offer free in-person assistance. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax help to those who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Visit the IRS at Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers to find a location near you.

Check your refund status

Taxpayers can quickly view the status of their New York State tax refund anytime by using the Check your Refund tool on the Tax Department website: Updated daily, 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—only without the wait!

You can also find out when your refund will be issued by signing up for Tax Department email alerts. Visit the Tax Department homepage at and select subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Don’t have a computer or smart phone? Call the Tax Department’s automated refund status line anytime at 518-457-5149.