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Tax Season Rush: How New Yorkers Can File Quickly and for Free

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  • Staff Report 

Simple Steps to a Stress-Free Tax Return

With the April 15 tax deadline just around the corner, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is guiding taxpayers towards an easy, speedy, and cost-free way to file their income taxes. Acting Tax Commissioner Amanda Hiller emphasizes the department’s commitment to a convenient filing process accessible through their website, This resource is a treasure trove of information designed to assist New Yorkers in fulfilling their tax obligations efficiently and receiving any due refunds promptly.

Get Prepared

To embark on your filing journey, you’ll need to gather some essential items:

  • An active email account for electronic filing and tracking.
  • Last year’s federal tax return or your Federal Adjusted Gross Income (FAGI).
  • Valid identification, including driver licenses or state-issued IDs for you and your spouse if filing jointly.
  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for yourself, spouse, and dependents.
  • Documents evidencing income and taxes withheld, such as W-2s, 1098s, and 1099s, including a 1099-G if you received unemployment benefits.
  • Information on any estimated tax payments made during the year or overpayment from last year applied to this year’s taxes.
  • Details about any income tax credits you’re claiming and your banking information for direct deposit refunds.

Fast and Secure E-Filing

The Tax Department advocates for electronic filing (e-filing) as the quickest, safest, and most efficient method. E-filers who opt for direct deposit can anticipate receiving their refunds swiftly, avoiding the potential headaches of misplaced or undelivered checks. Plus, the “Check your Refund” feature on the department’s website offers an instant way to track your refund status.

File for Free

In an exciting development, the New York State and the IRS have introduced a Direct File pilot program, allowing eligible New Yorkers to file both federal and state personal income tax returns at no cost. Additionally, the Free File program offers free tax preparation software to qualifying individuals. To ensure a fee-free experience, taxpayers are encouraged to carefully review each software provider’s eligibility criteria and access Free File software directly through the Tax Department’s website.

Remember, even if you don’t qualify for the Free File options, there are still several e-filing solutions available. For more information on these alternatives, visit the Tax Department’s website and make your tax filing experience as painless as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute – start your tax preparation today and sail smoothly past the April 15 deadline.

Categories: New York StateNews