Free Tax Assistance Sites

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VITA_AAs Tax Day approaches, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance tax experts continue to provide free tax filing assistance at 85 sites across the state. These locations add to the expanding network of sites that help eligible New Yorkers file timely and accurate returns at no charge for individuals and families who earned less than $62,000 in 2015. The state is offering 1,200 sessions—a 600 percent increase since the program was launched in 2014.

“Every hardworking New Yorker should be able to benefit from all tax credits that apply to them, and by offering this free assistance we can make sure that happens,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This is an important resource for people to utilize, and I’m proud that our administration is continuing to increase our support to taxpayers statewide.”

Most New York taxpayers are eligible to e-file their personal income tax returns for free, yet more than 70 percent still hire a tax preparer to complete the return, which often costs hundreds of dollars per filing.

What to bring to your FSA session

To ensure a successful, facilitated self assistance (FSA) session, you must bring the following:

• a copy of your federal and state tax return tax return from last year (if filed)
• a picture ID (such as a driver’s license, a passport or, if you live in NYC, an IDNYC)
• an Affordable (ACT) healthcare statement (Form 1095-A, Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C)
• a health insurance exemption certificate (if received)
• information related to any credits you are claiming
• your bank account and routing numbers (for direct depositing your refund)
• proof of your income: Forms W-2, 1098, 1099
• any other documents showing additional income

“By taking advantage of this free service, more taxpayers can effectively fulfill their tax responsibilities and claim the refunds they may be due,” said Jerry Boone, New York State taxation and finance commissioner. Taxpayers will also discover that filing their returns from one of these sites helps them receive all of the tax credits for which they’re eligible, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Care Dependent Credit. Visit tax.ny.gov/eitc for more information on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which can mean as much as $8,000 in benefits for working families.

The tax volunteers guide taxpayers through tax preparation software. The average return takes about an hour. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are accepted at many locations on a first-come, first-served basis. Select sites offer staff who can speak foreign languages, including Chinese, Spanish or Russian. The IRS and AARP also offer a directory of more than 800 sites where certified volunteers will help eligible taxpayers prepare and e-file their taxes.

Nassau County FSA sites:

Bethpage Federal Credit Union, 26 West Park Ave., Long Beach on Thursday, March 24, March 31 and April 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. English and Spanish assistance available.

United Healthcare Community Plan, 250 Fulton Ave., Suite 12, Hempstead on Wednesday, March 23, March 30 and April 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. English and Spanish assistance available. Call 516-247-6359 for details about this site.

Visit www.tax.ny.gov/fsa or call 518-457-5181 for additional tax sites and session dates.

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