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Cuomo: Expanded tax filing assistance ahead of filing deadline

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Wed, Jul 15th 2020 03:15 pm

NYS Tax Department extends call center hours to 7 p.m. tonight; free file program use rises 40% compared to last year

Free tax filing resources and software available online at www.tax.ny.gov

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced expanded tax filing assistance ahead of tonight's midnight filing deadline. To assist New York state taxpayers who have yet to submit their personal income tax returns, Tax Department representatives will be available until 7 p.m. tonight to answer last-minute filing questions. Representatives can be reached at 518-457-5181.

"It's tax day in July, and we're making every effort to ensure New Yorkers have the resources they need to get their returns in on-time," Cuomo said. "Many New Yorkers have already taken advantage of the free resources we provide, but with only hours left to submit an on-time tax return we're extending the hours of free online and phone assistance and reminding New Yorkers to submit their tax returns today."

•File both your NYS and federal tax returns for free

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.

More than 221,000 taxpayers have already filed their returns through the Free File program this year, a 40% increase over last year, saving these taxpayers an estimated $45.3 million in tax preparation fees.

To ensure one is not charged a fee, one must go to the Tax Department's website to complete one’s return. Select the Free File your income tax return link on the Tax Department's website to review the Free File options. One can save preparation fees, avoid costly errors, and ensure they receive any refund they’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. One can view the videos at the Get ready to e-file your income tax return webpage. Guidance and more resources, including answers to common questions, are also available on the Tax Department website to help taxpayers electronically prepare and file an accurate return.

•Check your refund status

The Tax Department has already issued more than 6 million refunds worth more than $6.1 billion. Taxpayers can quickly view the status of their New York state tax refund anytime by using the department's Check Refund Status app at its website: www.tax.ny.gov. Updated daily, this online tool is the fastest and most convenient way to know when to expect a refund. It provides the same information available to phone representatives, but without the wait.

One can also find out when a 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 at the bottom of the page.

•Request an automatic extension of time to file

One can obtain an automatic extension of time to file if one is unable to submit a completed income tax return by the July 15 deadline. An extension will provide more time to submit a return, but not more time to pay any tax owed. One must make full payment of the properly estimated tax balance owed when requesting an extension of time to file. Personal income tax returns filed on extension are due on or before Oct. 15, 2020.

•Visit the taxpayer answer center

One can find answers to common tax questions by searching the database of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Click answer center at the bottom of www.tax.ny.gov.

New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt said, "The Tax Department website is a critical resource right now for taxpayers filing within these final few hours. Everything from free filing software to answers to common questions. I encourage all New Yorkers preparing their returns today to visit www.tax.ny.gov to ease the stress of last-minute filing."

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