New York City residents have two options available to them for free tax service, says the New York State Tax Department.
Taxpayers with incomes below $50,000 can take advantage of free income tax preparation by visiting one of the 102 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites throughout the five boroughs (with 24 in Brooklyn). To find a location, visit: http://www.tax.ny.gov. Many sites require appointments, so call in advance.
VITA volunteers are trained in all areas of tax preparation, and can help taxpayers understand whether they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. VITA volunteers can also help complete prior year returns and amended returns.
According to the Tax Department, 96 percent of VITA site-prepared returns were error free last season, compared to the national average of 87 percent.
Taxpayers with incomes of less than $57,000 who prefer to file from their home computers are eligible to electronically file their income taxes at no cost with "Free File."
To use Free File, users don't have to have tax or computer expertise, and the program also reduces the number of errors on a tax return because the software can catch and correct common mistakes.
Taxpayers should note that state and federal returns with Free File should only be done from the New York State Tax Department Web site, not any other site. Accessing "free file" options via other web sites can result in unexpected charges.
Taxpayers have until April 17 to file personal income tax returns this year.