How Qualifying New Yorkers Can Get Taxes Done for Free

How Qualifying New Yorkers Can Get Taxes Done for Free
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexel Stock

How Qualifying New Yorkers Can Get Taxes Done for Free


April 15th (aka tax day) is right around the corner and filing can be so confusing and also expensive. And you are not alone if you have yet to file your taxes -the IRS expects with about 128.7 million tax returns expectant to be filed this year -many do wait to the deadline.

From small businesses to kids to freelance work, or even a traditional 1099, understanding taxes isn’t something we all have a comprehensive understanding of and is just plain perplexing. While online services can be quite convenient they typically charge $150-$250; while accountants can charge up to $500 – and more – an hour. This is not sustainable or practical for many families and also not all these services are based in New York and understand the tax breaks that may be offered to families. 

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Incredibly, New York State offers free in-person, online, and drop-off tax preparation services for qualifying New Yorkers. Read on to check out more about this program and how you could potentially get your taxes done for free.

Who Qualifies for Free Tax Prep Services?

Complimentary tax prep services are designated for New Yorkers with dependents who earned $85,000 or less, or $59,000 or less if you are a single filler with no dependents in 2023. Interested and qualified families will have their taxes prepared by an IRS-certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer. 

Where Can New York Families Get Free Tax Services?
Photo by Leeloo The First/pexels.com

Where Can New York Families Get Free Tax Services?

Incredibly, the city offers a range of in-person, drop-off sites, assisted self-prep, and online services.

 Families should visit the NYC Map to find a location and book an appointment.  Typically, each appointment lasts 30 minutes.

 

For the in-person appointment, volunteers will need your government ID, Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) and proof of income. If you are submitting as a business, you will need invoices, information about your home office, and credit card charges, to name a few documents. Additionally, you will need to provide and bring your banking/routing numbers. The list of all documents can be found here.

 

With the drop-off services, you simply visit one of the designated tax centers and drop off your tax documents and pick them up later. With the assisted self-prep option, you can complete and file on your own; while also having access to a volunteer preparer via phone or email.

 

Additionally, qualified New York families can go to getyourrefund.org/nyc to file virtually. This free service enables New Yorkers to complete their tax return. However, to file for free with a volunteer you have to make under $66,000, or under $79,000 if you file using the platform on your own.

 

Utilizing these services may help you qualify for a range of tax credits such as EITC, Child Tax Credit, or Child and Dependent Tax Credit

How Else Can Taxes be Filed for Free
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich/Pexel Stock

How Else Can Taxes be Filed for Free

Additionally, the government offers free tax preparation services via their partner, Free File Alliance. Through this service, you can file for free if your household income is under $79,000. Check out the list of free providers here.

 

Other free programs include the Taxpayer Assistance Program (TAP) if your federal adjusted gross income was $79,000 or less; the Direct File program for New Yorkers if you have a simpler return (eg: wages only from income); and MilTax for qualifying military families, to name a few options.

 

While tax season can be super stressful, these programs can alleviate some of the strain providing you with tools and resources to file with ease.

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