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More than 103,000 tax returns remain to be filed in Western New York


Fri, Jun 26th 2020 05:25 pm

Average refund due tops $870

By the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance on Friday encouraged taxpayers to file their personal income tax returns ahead of the extended July 15 deadline. More than 103,000 tax returns remain to be filed across Western New York.

More than 50% of filers across the region are due a refund of more than $870 on average.

“We encourage those who haven’t already filed to do so before the July 15 deadline, especially if they’re owed a refund at this financially challenging time,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “Tax credits can boost the refunds for those eligible, and free tax filing software on our website can also provide significant savings.”

Free Filing Options Available at Tax Department Website

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. Simply click the Free File your income tax return link on the Tax Department’s website to review the free filing 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. More than 210,000 taxpayers have already filed their returns through the Free File program this year, saving these taxpayers an estimated $43.2 million in tax preparation fees.

Earned Income Tax Credits Worth Up to $8,852

Be sure to check whether you’re eligible for earned income tax credits (EITC). EITCs are refundable federal, New York state, and New York City credits for working taxpayers who earn up to $55,952. The credits can reduce the amount of taxes owed or provide a substantial tax refund.

To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they don’t owe any tax or aren’t required to file. The New York state EITC is one of the most generous in the nation, providing a significant benefit to working families. See eligibility requirements at the Tax Department’s Earned income credit (New York state) webpage.

When the federal, New York state, and New York City earned income tax credits are combined, they can be worth up to $8,852 for a family with three or more children. Nevertheless, federal estimates suggest that as many as 400,000 eligible New Yorkers may fail to claim these valuable credits.

Noncustodial Parent Earned Income Tax Credit

New York was the first state in the nation to enact a noncustodial parent EITC in 2006. The refundable credit adds to the many ways that New York encourages low-income noncustodial parents to work and stay current with their child-support payments. In 2017, almost 4,960 taxpayers claimed the noncustodial parent EITC for a total of almost $2.5 million.

Avoid Late Filing Penalties

Don’t delay filing your return just because you cannot pay your tax balance in full. Late filers face penalties that are separate from penalties for paying late. 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.

See Tax Department response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for additional information on the extended tax filing deadline.

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