Editorial by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
With the clock ticking down to the April 18 deadline, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today offered tips to the 2.5 million taxpayers who haven't yet filed their returns.
"The income tax deadline is rapidly approaching, and we're here to help," said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. "We're providing New Yorkers with free online tax preparation options and extended customer service hours. The following tips will smooth the filing process and help to ensure that New Yorkers receive the credits and refunds they deserve."
E-file — Join the more than 90 percent of New Yorkers who e-file. E-filed returns are 20 times less likely to have an error, enabling taxpayers to receive their refunds up to twice as fast compared with those who file on paper.
File free — Individuals and families who earned less than $62,000 can prepare and file their state and federal income tax returns for free at our website — www.tax.ny.gov — or at one of our 85 tax assistance sites. Tax Department volunteers will help guide you through the user-friendly software at these locations and times: www.tax.ny.gov/fsa.
Claim the credits you deserve — The IRS estimates about 430,000 eligible New Yorkers fail to claim their earned income tax credits. For tax year 2015, the federal, state and New York City credit can add up to as much as $8,427 (for a family with three children earning $53,267). Learn about this valuable credit and others, including the child and dependent care credit and college tuition credit, at our income tax credits page.
Use direct deposit for your refund — If you e-file and use direct deposit, you can receive your refund in as few as 14 days. More than 80 percent of New Yorkers choose direct deposit. If you hire a tax preparer, make sure your refund is deposited into your account — not the preparer's.
Check your refund online — Go directly to our website to check the status of your refund anytime. Our "Where's Your Refund?" app provides information updated daily and a time frame for each step in the processing of your return — from receipt of the return to the issue date and amount of the refund.
Call during extended hours — To assist last-minute filers with their New York state returns, our call center (518-457-5181) is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 16.
File for an extension — Rather than file in a rush, request an automatic six-month extension before the due date. An extension doesn't provide more time to pay taxes owed. You must pay the properly estimated amount of tax owed when requesting the extension.