Thursday, April 5, 2018

Abigail Lootens / Christine Gianakis
Department of Consumer Affairs
(212) 436-0042

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Department of Consumer Affairs Announces a Record Breaking One Million Tax Returns Have Been Filed for New Yorkers for Free Using NYC Free Tax Prep with 500,000 Filed Since the City's 2015 Expansion of Services

New Yorkers Earning $66,000 or Less Can File for Free at More Than 200 Sites Citywide or Online

NEW YORK, NY—Today Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas announced that thanks to an increased investment made in 2015 by the de Blasio administration to expand the capacity of free tax prep in NYC, 500,000 tax returns have been completed for New Yorkers. With the help of IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer preparers, NYC Free Tax Prep has helped New Yorkers claim important deductions and tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), bringing in more than $700 million in refunds and tax preparer fee savings.

With less than two weeks left to file taxes before the April 17 deadline, Commissioner Salas encouraged New Yorkers who earned $66,000 or less in 2017, including young workers, immigrant workers, and non-salaried workers not to delay filing their taxes, and to use NYC Free Tax Prep available at more than 200 sites citywide or online. New Yorkers can call 311 or visit to find the most convenient location and its hours.

“I commend the many New Yorkers who have used NYC Free Tax Prep to take control of their finances and stretch every dollar so that they are not leaving any money on the table during tax season,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “We will continue to expand this program in communities in need of free tax preparation services to ensure that all families and individuals struggling to make ends meet claim all tax credits they are eligible for and receive every penny of their hard-earned refund. Tax Day is right around the corner so don’t procrastinate any longer—if you earned $66,000 or less in 2017, file for free today with our trusted and professional free tax prep services.”

Throughout the tax season, NYC Free Tax Prep includes more than 200 VITA, TCE and AARP Tax-Aide sites citywide, as well as online self-preparation at New Yorkers can call 311 or visit and use DCA’s interactive map to search for the most convenient free tax site, and text “Taxes” to 42033 (message and data rates may apply) to find the nearest location and receive tax season updates and reminders. A checklist of what is needed to file is available at

The City’s free tax filing options:

  • 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. At the 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.
  • New Yorkers earning less than $66,000 can file their taxes online for free at The City partners with Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation and MyFreeTaxes, powered by H&R Block and in partnership with United Way Worldwide, to offer these services.

DCA has been conducting outreach events throughout the season, including hosting NYC Free Tax Prep pop-up locations to underserved communities with gaps in Free Tax Prep services and DCA’s first-ever NYC Free Tax Prep-a-Thon, a 12-hour tax filing marathon and resource fair, which was held at schools in all five boroughs. 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 600,000 EITC-eligible New Yorkers and, with the help of the City’s tax season partners, is distributing approximately thousands of informational brochures in multiple languages.

Consumers using a paid preparer should ask the preparer for a Consumers’ Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers (also available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian and Spanish) and read it thoroughly before having their taxes prepared, and also get DCA’s Tips Regarding Tax Preparers. For more information about NYC Free Tax Prep, visit or call 311. You can also text “Taxes” to 42033 (message and data rates may apply) to find the nearest location and receive tax season updates and reminders and join the #FreeTaxPrep conversation on @NYCDCA’s social media channels.

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 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 for a list.)
  • 2016 tax return (if available)
    To file online: You need your 2016 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.