Hochul announces launch of free online state tax filing program

ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Governor Kathy Hochul and the civic nonprofit Code For America announced on Wednesday, March 6 that beginning on Tuesday, March 12, New York State residents will be able to file their state taxes for free thanks to a new tool.

The program — known as FileYourStateTaxes — was a joint effort between the state and Code For America to allow eligible New Yorkers to file their state taxes for free. The program would also integrate with the Internal Revenue Service’s Direct File pilot, allowing eligible individuals to file their federal taxes for free as well.

“Filing your taxes should be free and simple, and starting March 12, we’re launching a new, no-cost option to streamline the process for millions of New York taxpayers,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “Thanks to our partnership with Code for America and the IRS, New York is delivering on its commitment to helping New Yorkers access vital government services, meet their tax obligations, and recover tax benefits.” 

New York is one of 12 states participating in the pilot program, and only one of three states that will provide integrated state tax filing. Upon completing your federal tax return on the IRS website, New Yorkers can export their information to FileYourStateTaxes, making them able to file their state taxes in minutes.

“Direct File is a great new tool that will allow certain New York taxpayers to file their federal and state taxes for free – saving hundreds of dollars in tax preparation fees,” Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Amanda Hiller said in a statement. “I urge taxpayers to check to see whether it’s right for them.”

According to the Governor’s office, residents are eligible to use the program if they fulfill the following requirements:

You lived in New York for the entire year and do not have income from another state,

Your only income sources are wages, Social Security or unemployment benefits, and/or up to $1,500 of interest,

You want to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, or Credit for Other Dependents, and

You only plan to claim the standard deduction or deductions for student loan interest and educator expenses.

Taxpayers can begin to use the FileYourStateTaxes program beginning on Tuesday, March 12. To find out if you are eligible to use the program, you are encouraged to visit the Direct File Website, the IRS website, or the FileYourStateTaxes website.

If taxpayers find that they are not eligible for the FileYourStateTaxes program, the governor’s office has said that there are other options available to them. New York State also partners with the Free File Alliance, which is available to taxpayers who have a federal adjusted gross income of $79,000 or less. Interested taxpayers can access that program at the link above.

“Code for America shares New York State’s belief that the tax system should work well for everyone, which is why providing a free, easy way for New Yorkers to file a tax return is a priority for us both,” Code For America CEO Amanda Renteria said in a statement. “FileYourStateTaxes will help close the tax benefits participation gap in New York and ensure families can access the funds for which they are eligible.” 

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