FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Abigail Lootens / Christine Gianakis
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0042 firstname.lastname@example.org
One Month Until Tax Day: Department of Consumer Affairs Reminds Eligible New Yorkers to File Their Taxes for Free
New Yorkers Earning $64,000 or Less Can File for Free at More Than 200 Sites Citywide or Online
NEW YORK, NY—Today, on Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Awareness Day, Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas reminds New Yorkers that there is just a little over a month left to file taxes before the April 18 deadline. Commissioner Salas encouraged New Yorkers who earned $64,000 or less in 2016 to file for free, using NYC Free Tax Prep available at more than 200 sites citywide or online.
“With Tax Day quickly approaching, we encourage all eligible New Yorkers to use our services to file their taxes safely and for free and to ensure you are maximizing your refunds by claiming the tax credits you’re entitled to,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “We know that New Yorkers need to stretch every dollar to take care of themselves and their families – or even add to their savings. By ensuring that our hardworking families aren’t leaving any money on the table this tax season, we hope to help create thriving communities across the city.”
NYC Free Tax Prep enables qualifying New Yorkers to file their taxes safely – and for free – at more than 200 sites across the five boroughs through or online at nyc.gov/taxprep
. The program also raises awareness about important tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), that put money back in the pockets of working New Yorkers. The availability of free tax preparation services is made possible through partnerships with VITA/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) and AARP Tax Aide, among others. At the in person sites, returns can be prepared in-person by an IRS-certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer or dropped off to be completed by the preparer. At the convenient drop-off sites, filers can drop off their tax documents and return later to pick up the completed return or receive it by email.
The City’s free tax filing options
- In person sites: For most sites, New Yorkers with an annual income of $54,000 or less with children or $30,000 or less without children, can visit one of more than 200 free tax sites in the five boroughs. Both in-person and drop-off sites have an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer complete the return.
- Online: New Yorkers earning less than $64,000 can file their taxes online for free at nyc.gov/taxprep.
This year, DCA’s 15th tax season, the City is supporting three new tax preparation provider organizations in an effort to reach communities identified as being in need of free tax preparation services and likely eligible for tax credits. New partners include Chhaya Community Development Corporation, which brings new services to Jackson Heights and adds Hindi, Urdu, Nepali and Tibetan to the list of available languages; Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, which added two new sites in the Bronx; and The Bronx NHS, which is serving the North Bronx. There are also new sites in Canarsie, Coney Island, and Sheepshead Bay.
DCA has been conducting outreach events throughout the season, including targeted events in communities identified as having EITC-eligible filers who aren’t filing for free or claiming the credit. In addition, the agency has been hosting “NYC Free Tax Prep Coffee Days” when free coffee is distributed at locations in several targeted neighborhoods. This year’s advertising campaign continues to run in the city’s subway cars, stations, bus shelters, and telephone kiosks, as well as in print, on the radio, and online. DCA sent a targeted mailing to approximately 300,000 EITC-eligible New Yorkers and, with the help of the City’s tax season partners, is distributing approximately 575,000 informational brochures in multiple languages.
New Yorkers can call 311 or visit nyc.gov/taxprep
and use DCA’s interactive map to search for the most convenient free tax site, and now text “Taxes” to 42033 (message and data rates may apply) to find the nearest location and receive tax season updates and reminders.
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCA licenses more than 81,000 businesses in more than 50 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCA protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCA empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCA also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCA and its work, call 311 or visit DCA at nyc.gov/dca or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
What you need to file:
- Government-issued photo ID (includes IDNYC)
- Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and birth dates for you, your spouse, and your dependents
Proof of Income:
- Forms W-2,1099s, or income and expense records if you are self-employed (Go to nyc.gov/taxprep for a list.)
- 2015 tax return (if available)
To file online: You need your 2015 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Self-Select PIN Number. If you cannot find this information on the return, visit IRS.Gov/GetReady or call 1-800-829-1040.
- Proof of health insurance coverage or Health Insurance Exemption Certificate for you, your spouse, and your dependents
- Payment records for child care, including the provider’s name, address, and Employer Identification Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, or Social Security number
- Records of cash and non-cash charitable contributions
- Account and routing numbers for direct deposit of your refund
If you are filing a joint return, both spouses must be present.