Eligible New Yorkers can use NYC Free Tax Prep to file their federal and state income taxes for free online or in person.

NYC Free Tax Prep can also guide you on how to make sure you get your Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Payments), which may mean claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 federal tax return.

The deadline to file taxes has been extended to May 17, 2021.

Eligibility

In general, to use NYC Free Tax Prep, you must:

  • Earn $68,000 or less if you have dependents
  • Earn $48,000 or less if you don't have dependents
  • Have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Live or work in New York City

Some organizations offering NYC Free Tax Prep may have different income eligibility requirements. You should ask the organization for more details, including if they offer language assistance.

NYC Free Tax Prep provides two ways to file your taxes for free online with help from IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) / Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer preparers:

  • Virtual Tax Preparation: Use a secure video conference and digital system to give information to a volunteer who will prepare your taxes for you.
  • Assisted Self-Preparation: Use the online service to do your own taxes; a volunteer preparer will be available by phone or email to answer your questions.

Learn more about NYC Free Tax Prep online services.

What You Need

To use the online services, you must have:

  • Access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • A stable internet connection
  • Texting or email (for assisted self-preparation)
  • The ability to download secure video conference software (for virtual tax preparation)

You can go to an NYC Free Tax Prep site to get free help preparing your taxes. Sites offer different options, including:

  • In-person assistance: An IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer will prepare your taxes for you.
  • Drop-off service: You can drop off your tax documents and pick up the completed return later.

Because of the pandemic, in-person locations and capacity are limited this tax year. Filers with internet access are encouraged to use NYC Free Tax Prep online services to save time.

At NYC Free Tax Prep sites, you must follow New York State health guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing during the visit. In addition, organizations may conduct screenings or have additional health and safety requirements. You should ask the organization for more details.

Required Documents

You will need the following documents to do taxes:

  • Government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, IDNYC card, or passport
  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number determination letters (original, copy, or electronic document) for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • Your 2019 tax return, if available. To request a transcript, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-908-9946 or visit irs.gov and search “Get Transcript.”
  • Income statements or forms, including:
    • Form W-2 (wages from each job)
    • Form 1099-INT (interest)
    • Form 1099-DIV (dividends)
    • Form 1099-R (retirement plans)
    • Form W-2G (gambling winnings)
    • Form SSA-1099 (Social Security benefits)
    • Form 1099-MISC (miscellaneous income)
    • Form 1099-B (sale of stock)
    • Form 1098-T (scholarships and grants)
    • Form 1099-C (cancellation of debt)
  • Form 1099-G if you received unemployment insurance at any point during 2020. To obtain a form, visit dol.ny.gov and search “1099-G.”
  • Proof of health insurance (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C) or Health Insurance Exemption Certificate (if applicable) for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • Form 1098-T (tuition payments to attend a university or technical college)
  • Form 1098-E (interest paid on student loans)
  • 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

To request direct deposit for your refund, you will need checking or savings account and routing numbers, which you can find at the bottom of a check.

If you are married and filing jointly, both you and your spouse must sign required forms.

If you live outside New York City, you can call the following telephone numbers for information about free tax preparation assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

  • Agency: AARP Member Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (888) 227-7669
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
  • Division: Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer's Hotline
  • Phone Number: (800) 829-1040
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 7 PM
  • Automated assistance is available in English and Spanish.

  • Agency: Hudson Valley 211
  • Phone Number: (800) 899-1479
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Agency: New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 435-7555
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Agency: Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 203-1234
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

You can get a brochure with information about free tax filing options.

    Online

    You can download an NYC Free Tax Prep brochure and flyers in English and:

    • Arabic
    • Bengali
    • Chinese
    • French
    • Haitian Creole
    • Hebrew
    • Korean
    • Polish
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Urdu
    • Yiddish

    Download the NYC Free Tax Prep brochure and flyers.

    By Mail

    You can get a copy of the NYC Free Tax Prep brochure in English and in:

    • Arabic
    • Bengali
    • Chinese
    • French
    • Haitian Creole
    • Korean
    • Polish
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Urdu

    Call 311 to request a paper copy.

    If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your 2020 tax return, the IRS will hold your refund until early March 2021. The IRS must hold your entire refund, including any part not from the EITC or ACTC.

    This delay is the result of a law intended to protect you by making sure that you receive the refund you are owed. It also gives the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.

    Even though the IRS cannot issue refunds for some early filers until early March 2021, the IRS will still issue most refunds in less than 21 days.

    Be careful about payment obligations, given the refund delay. This includes using a Refund Anticipation Loan or other loan and preparer fee agreements in which repayment is dependent on your tax refund. Learn more about Refund Anticipation Products on the Tax Preparation Business Tips page.

    Be especially aware of any stated repayment dates that are earlier than March 2021. Do not risk more costs by agreeing to a repayment schedule that requires full payment before you get your refund.

    Learn about Federal tax refunds and check refund status.

    The SaveUSA program has ended. If you were a participant and have questions, please contact the Food Bank Paycheck Plus Program or Spring Bank.

    Account holders should speak with their tax preparer about savings options for their refunds this year. You can also schedule an appointment for free financial counseling at an NYC Financial Empowerment Center. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, visit the Financial Counseling page.

    • Agency: Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity
    • Division: Food Bank Paycheck Plus Program
    • Phone Number: (646) 981-6111
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 7 PM; Saturday: 10 AM - 4 PM

    • Agency: Spring Bank
    • Phone Number: (718) 879-5000
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

    Families claiming the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for tax year 2021 will receive up to:

    • $3,000 per qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17 at the end of 2021
    • $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6 at the end of 2021

    You are eligible for the full amount if your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your latest tax return is less than or equal to:

    • $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return and qualifying widows or widowers
    • $112,500 for heads of household
    • $75,000 for all other taxpayers

    Payments will be phased out (reduced) for incomes above those AGI amounts.

    Advance payments of the 2021 CTC will be made regularly from July through December to eligible taxpayers who have a main home in the United States for more than half the year. The total of the advance payments will be up to 50% of the Child Tax Credit. Advance payments will be estimated from information included in eligible taxpayers' 2020 tax returns (or their 2019 returns if the 2020 returns are not filed and processed yet).

    Families with children should file their 2020 tax returns as soon as possible to make sure they're eligible for the appropriate amount of the CTC as well as any other tax credits they're eligible for, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). 

    Eligible taxpayers do not need to take any action now other than to file their 2020 tax return if they have not done so.

    Learn more about the Child Tax Credit (CTC).