Free tax filing software can help eligible taxpayers claim valuable tax credits
√ Nearly 255,000 taxpayers filed tax returns for free last year through NYS Tax Department website, saving a combined $51 million in preparation fees
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday encouraged New Yorkers to take advantage of Free File software, which, her team said, “can help millions of taxpayers claim valuable tax credits without the cost of hiring a paid tax preparer. The software provides savings as well as puts money directly in your pocket by ensuring you claim the credits you deserve, including the earned income tax credit (EITC).”
Hochul said, "In the wake of the pandemic, many working families have faced increased financial burdens, and I want to make sure all New Yorkers are taking advantage of the tax benefits that are available to them. The Free File program can help individuals claim all the tax credits they deserve while saving them save hundreds in tax-preparation costs. The earned income tax credits can add up to nearly $9,100 – increasing the spending power for those who need it most as we continue to rebuild and recover from COVID-19."
New York State Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Amanda Hiller said, "I encourage all eligible taxpayers to take advantage of Free File – a secure and efficient way to file and reap significant savings – and valuable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit. These can provide a financial lifeline for working families, particularly those coping with the impact of the pandemic."
Earned Income Tax Credits are worth up to $9,083 for a family with three or more children
EITC is a refundable credit for working taxpayers who earn less than $57,414. This means one get a refund even if the credit amount is more than what one owes in taxes.
In 2019, almost 1.64 million New Yorkers received the federal EITC, claiming more than $4.8 billion in federal, New York state, and New York City EITCs.
Federal estimates show that almost 350,000 eligible New Yorkers may fail to claim the credit.
Every year, thousands of New Yorkers qualify for the EITC for the first time as their filing status or personal financial situation changes. Eligibility requirements for the Earned income credit (New York State) are explained on the Tax Department website.
More information about federal, state and local earned income tax credits, including the value of available credits, is available here.
Ensure Claimed Credits
A press release noted, “You must file a personal income tax return to receive the credit, even if you don't owe any taxes. E-filing is the easiest way to file your return and the fastest way to receive your refund.
“Most New Yorkers can file using Free File software, available at no-cost on the Tax Department website. If your 2021 household income is $73,000 or less, you can file both your federal and New York state returns at no cost through the Tax Department website using Free File. Nearly 255,000 taxpayers used this software last year, saving them a combined $51 million in tax preparation fees.
“When you're ready to file, gather your information and documentation. If you received unemployment compensation, request your Form 1099-G from the Department of Labor. Remember to include the full amount on your New York state personal income tax return.
“Also, request direct deposit – it's the easiest and fastest way to get your refund.”
The deadline to submit a completed personal income tax return is Friday, April 15.
After one files, they can check their refund status at their convenience. Up-to-date information about refunds and returns can be found with the check your refund status tool.