Tax Department Expands Free Language Translation Services

By WBNG News

Tax Department Expands Free Language Translation Services

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 11:57 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced Friday it has expanded its free interpretation and translation services to the public. 

According to a news release:

This enhanced multilingual support is the result of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Order of last year directing the Department, and all State agencies, to help people with limited English proficiency better interact with State government.

Translated documents will be offered in New York’s most commonly spoken non-English languages - Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Italian, Korean, and Haitian Creole.  The Department also has bilingual staff able to provide interpretation services in 37 languages, including Vietnamese, Swahili, Polish, Farsi, and Hebrew.  

The Tax Department has been providing a limited number of Web pages and documents in Spanish, as well as making interpretation services in multiple languages available for taxpayers.   Beginning today, the array of vital documents is significantly expanded, with each of them available in the six languages noted above.  

“An individual’s language should not be a barrier to receiving information and assistance from our Department,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox. “Our goal is to help taxpayers with limited English skills better understand our publications and services, such as money-saving credits, for which they may be eligible.  We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this critical initiative.”

The Department is now including a brief multi-language insert in many of its mailings to individuals, businesses and tax return preparers.  Recipients of the notice are guided to assistance in each of six non-English languages.

Margaret Sherman, Deputy Commissioner for Processing and Taxpayer Services, said that over time the Department expects to expand the number of translated documents available at its Web site as part of an ongoing effort to broaden access to information for all taxpayers. 

“Taxpayers who receive notices from us can now reach our call center staff and ask for the document to be interpreted into any language,” she added.

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