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Department of Taxation and Finance

One Week to Go! Your Tax Filing Questions Answered Tax Department answers most popular questions ahead of July 15 tax filing deadline

For Release: Immediate,

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

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today answered the most popular questions it’s received online and at its call center. Personal income tax returns are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 15.

“It’s crunch time for tax filings, with the deadline one week away,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “To help taxpayers submit an on-time and accurate return, we’ve compiled the most popular questions and answered them all in one place.”

Q: Where can I file my tax return?

A: Each year, millions of New Yorkers qualify to file their personal income tax returns for free through the Tax Department’s website. Taxpayers who earned $69,000 or less in 2019 are eligible to electronically prepare and e-file both their federal and New York State income tax returns by using Free File software.

More than 214,000 taxpayers have already filed their returns through the Free File program this year, saving these taxpayers an estimated $43.9 million in tax preparation fees.

To ensure you're not charged a fee, you must go to the Tax Department’s website to complete your return. Simply select the Free File your income tax return link on the Tax Department’s website to review the Free File options. You’ll save preparation fees, avoid costly errors, and ensure that you receive any refund you’re owed in the most efficient way possible.

The Tax Department has produced a series of video tutorials to assist New Yorkers with the tax return filing process. Topics range from gathering the necessary documents to choosing the right software. You can view the videos at our Get ready to e-file your income tax return webpage.

Q: How can I receive my refund faster?

A: Filing your return electronically is safer and more efficient than sending paper returns through the mail. About 95% 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.

You’ll also receive your refund faster if it’s directly deposited into your bank account rather than mailed as a paper check.

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.

Q: Where can I check my refund status?

A: 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: www.tax.ny.gov. 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 www.tax.ny.gov and select subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Q: How can I make a payment if I owe taxes?

A: The Tax Department has a variety of payment options if you owe unpaid taxes, including an Installment Payment Agreement and the online Quick Pay application that allows you to pay a bill or tax debt directly from your bank account. Also, don’t delay filing your return if you cannot pay your tax balance in full. Late filers face penalties that are separate from penalties for paying late.

Q: How can I request more time to file my return?

A: You can obtain an automatic extension of time to file if you’re unable to submit a completed income tax return by the July 15 deadline. An extension will provide more time to submit your return, but not more time to pay any tax owed. You must make full payment of the properly estimated tax balance owed when requesting an extension of time to file. Personal income tax returns filed on extension are due on or before October 15, 2020.

Q: How can I contact someone if I have additional questions?

A: Cell Center representatives are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET at 518-457-5181 on weekdays.

Before you call, however, consider that the most efficient way to obtain tax filing guidance and information, including answers to common questions, is to visit the Tax Department’s website, www.tax.ny.gov. Visit our Filing season resource center for online resources to help you electronically prepare and file an accurate return on time—without the wait.

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