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2020 taxes

March 31, 2021 - 11:11am

Press release:

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today encouraged eligible taxpayers to register for a free virtual tax filing assistance session.

If your federal adjusted gross income in 2020 was $72,000 or less, you qualify to receive free virtual tax assistance from the Tax Department. We can guide you through the process of electronically preparing and filing your 2020 federal and state income tax returns at no cost.

During a prescheduled virtual webinar session using WebEx or Zoom, our department representatives will guide you step by step as needed through the free tax preparation software as you complete and file your own tax return.

The NYS Tax Department extended the filing due date for New York State personal income tax returns to May 17 to match the extended due date for federal income tax returns.

“The Tax Department is offering New Yorkers more time to file because of the ongoing pandemic and free filing services for those eligible,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “We encourage New Yorkers to save on tax preparation costs for their federal and state returns by taking advantage of this free assistance.”

Register for a Session

You can register to attend a session directly with the Tax Department or through one of our partners.

Once you register, you will receive an email with a link to the webinar session. You will also receive a link to the free tax software and an intake questionnaire. Please review and fill out the intake questionnaire to ensure you have all the documents needed to complete your return during the session.

To register, see Register for a virtual FSA session.

How to Have a Successful E-filing Experience

Four steps to ensure a quick and easy filing experience:

  1. Have all tax documents and personal information for each person on the return available for the webinar session.
  2. Use the software link to set up an account in the free software.
  3. Plan to spend up to two hours in the webinar session.
  4. Follow up by checking your email within 48 hours once you submit your return.

You can review the documents to have on hand and an explanation of how to create an account to use the free software at www.tax.ny.gov/fsa.

Free File Software

If you’re confident enough to file on your own, you don’t need to attend a virtual session. You can use your own computer, tablet, or mobile device to prepare and e-file your income tax returns whenever and wherever you want using the same secure software at no cost. To learn more and determine if you qualify for Free File, please visit our Free File your income tax return (SpanishChineseRussian) page.

For related information, please see the two-minute video Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

March 3, 2021 - 2:48pm

Press release:

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded taxpayers that they can receive the refunds they’re owed up to two weeks sooner by e-filing their return and choosing direct deposit.

E-filing is safer, faster, and more efficient than sending paper returns through the mail. And you’ll receive your refund faster if it’s directly deposited into your bank account rather than mailed as a paper check.

“Combining the power of electronic filing and direct deposit is the most secure and efficient way to submit your tax return and receive any refund due,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt.

“We strive to issue refunds as quickly as possible, and you can help by filing an accurate return and choosing to have your refund directly deposited into your bank account.”

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.

If you forgo the simplicity and convenience of direct deposit, make sure your mailing address is correct when requesting a refund check by mail. Any error can delay your refund.

Prepare and file your income tax returns for free

Free File software is now available at the Tax Department website, www.tax.ny.gov. Taxpayers with income of $72,000 or less in 2020 can electronically complete and submit their federal and New York State income tax returns online at no cost.

Nearly 255,000 New York taxpayers used our Free File software last year, saving themselves a combined $51 million in the process. To be directed to the free filing options, simply click Free File your income tax return on the Tax Department’s website. It’s easy, fast and secure.

To ensure you're not charged a fee, you must go to the Tax Department’s website to complete your return. You’ll save on preparation fees, prevent costly errors, and ensure that you receive any refund you’re owed in the most efficient way possible.

Check your refund status

Taxpayers can also quickly view the status of their New York State tax refund anytime by using the Check your Refund application on the Tax Department website: www.tax.ny.gov. It’s the fastest and most convenient way to know when to expect your refund. It’s updated daily and 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 under the Connect With Us heading at the bottom of the page.

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