Cuomo encourages New Yorkers to use free tax assistance at more than 400 statewide locations

By WBNG News

Cuomo encourages New Yorkers to use free tax assistance at more than 400 statewide locations

March 28, 2013 Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 4:39 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday joined with the Internal Revenue Service, New York State agencies and numerous local organizations statewide to encourage low and middle-income taxpayers to take advantage of free services to prepare and file their income taxes as the filing deadline of April 15th approaches.

According to a news release:

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available to individuals and families with an annual income of $51,000 or less. Taxpayers can have their federal and state taxes prepared and filed for free by IRS-certified volunteers at these locations.

“This year, more than 3,500 volunteers are giving their time and knowledge to help New Yorkers complete their tax returns for free,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the April 15th deadline approaching, I encourage those who haven’t filed their taxes yet to visit one of more than 400 locations across the state for these free services.”

“Not only does the VITA program save the cost of tax preparation and filing each year, but the returns prepared have a very high accuracy rate,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox. “We extend our sincere thanks to the thousands of volunteers and encourage taxpayers to take advantage of this program before the April 15 filing deadline.”

“Working with the State of New York and local non-profit organizations helps the VITA program grow and strengthen each year,” said Verlinda Paul, the IRS’s Director of Stakeholder, Partnerships, Education and Communication. “We appreciate the effort of all our partners and volunteers who provide help to those who really need it.”
Last year, VITA volunteers in New York prepared nearly 200,000 returns, and they consistently receive high reviews from the taxpayers who use their services.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Many of these sites ask for appointments prior to a visit.

“Free File” from home if your income is under $57,000

Taxpayers with personal computers and incomes below $57,000 also have the option to file their income taxes for free from home. The Free File software is user-friendly and guides taxpayers through the state and federal returns, while helping to ensure that users claim the credits for which they’re eligible.

To avoid charges for their New York State tax returns, the Tax Department notes that taxpayers must access Free File from the link on its home page at www.tax.ny.gov.

Faster Refunds

Because VITA sites and the Free File program submit state and federal returns electronically, those who qualify for a refund will get it faster than if they filed paper forms. E-filing is the fastest, safest way to file tax returns and receive refunds.
For more information

•Find a VITA site near you by visiting http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep or calling IRS’ toll-free hotline at 1-800-906-9887

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