Save time and money – and receive your refund up to two weeks sooner
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today shared tips to help ensure a smooth process for taxpayers who have yet to file their personal income tax returns. The extended filing deadline is July 15.
“The Tax Department has already processed more than 8 million income tax returns – leaving about 2 million returns to be filed,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “The following tips and free resources can ease the process for those who haven’t met their vital filing obligations ahead of the fast approaching July 15 deadline.”
See Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for additional information on the extended deadline.
Tax Filing Tips
√ Prepare and file your return electronically. E-filed returns are processed faster than paper returns, have fewer errors, and are more secure than ones sent through the mail.
√ Have driver licenses handy. You must provide driver license information for you and all other filers on the return, for example your spouse if filing a joint return. This guards against fraudulent returns and refund claims filed by identity thieves.
√ Provide correct social security numbers on the return, including for your spouse if filing jointly and for any dependents claimed. This prevents processing and refund delays.
√ Report estimated tax payments accurately. Create an online services account at the Tax Department website (tax.ny.gov), and you’ll be able to check your balances, pay estimated tax electronically, and review your payment history. To avoid processing delays, contact the Tax Department if you’re unsure of your estimated tax payments.
√ Include all required forms and schedules. Paper filers must include Form IT-2, Summary of W-2 Statements.
√ Include the information that shows eligibility for any claims for credits or deductions. Paper filers must attach supporting forms and schedules to their return, which is another reason we encourage e-filing; the tax preparation software automatically includes this information.
√ Let the tax preparation software do the math for you; if you’re doing your own math, double check all calculations.
√ Choose direct deposit as your refund method. In this time of social distancing, save yourself a trip to the bank by having your refund safely deposited into your bank account. Simply check direct deposit on your tax return, then be sure to enter your correct bank account and routing numbers. The combination of e-file and direct deposit will allow you to receive your New York state tax refund up to two weeks sooner than if you filed on paper and requested that a refund check be mailed to you.
√ If you do 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.
√ Most amended returns can be e-filed. The software will know exactly what’s required. If you’re filing an amended return on paper, remember to complete it as if you are filing the return for the first time. You cannot file only the changes to the return. Submit all the forms relevant to the information in your amended return, even if these forms were already included with the original return.
Take Advantage of Free Filing Software Online and Maintain Social Distancing
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.
To ensure you're not charged a fee, you must go to the Tax Department’s website to complete your return. To be directed to the free filing options, simply click the Free File your income tax return link on the Tax Department’s website. You’ll save preparation fees, prevent 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.
Nearly 206,000 taxpayers have already filed their returns through the Free File program this year, saving a combined estimate of $42.2 million.