There are free tax filing options for eligible New Yorkers.

Tax Day was April 15. However, you can still file your 2018 tax return online for free through October 15. If you owe the government money, be aware that late filing penalties apply.

To use this free program, you must:

  • Have earned $66,000 or less in 2018.
  • Have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • Have a valid email address.
  • Enter "NYC" as your locality in Box 20 on your W-2 form; some W-2 forms incorrectly list "New York" in Box 20.

The online service offers step-by-step instructions to help you accurately complete state and federal tax returns in about an hour.

Gather relevant tax documents before you begin filing your tax return. Make sure to use a secure computer to protect your privacy. Print a copy of your return for your records.

Learn about NYC Free Tax Prep.

Go to the Libraries page for free internet access.

Tax Documents Needed to File Online

You will need the following documents to file:

  • Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and your dependents

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 1099-G (unemployment)
  • 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)
  • Your 2017 tax return (if available)
  • Verification of health insurance for each person listed on the return (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C) or Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if applicable
  • Form 1098-T (tuition payments to attend a university or technical college)
  • Form 1098-E (interest paid on student loans)
  • Documentation of child care payments for your children, including the provider's name, address, and Employer Identification Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, or SSN
  • Records of cash and non-cash charitable contributions
  • Your 2017 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Self-Select PIN to electronically sign your return. AGI is the amount shown on your 2017 Form 1040, line 38; Form 1040A, line 22; or Form 1040EZ, line 4. The Self-Select PIN is the 5-digit PIN you used to electronically sign your 2017 return. If you cannot find this information on the return or do not have your 2017 tax return, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or go to the IRS website and search “Get Transcript” to request a Tax Return Transcript.

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.

Online

File your taxes.

By Phone

  • Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
  • Division: Internal Revenue Service Tax Return Transcript Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 908-9946
  • Business Hours: Mon - Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tax Day was April 15. However, you can still file your tax return for free at an NYC Free Tax Prep site. If you owe the government money, be aware that late filing penalties apply.

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

  • Earn $54,000 or less if you have children.
  • Earn $30,000 or less if you do not have children.
  • Have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
  • Live or work in New York City.

Some sites may have different income eligibility requirements. You should ask the site for more details, including if the site offers language assistance or is wheelchair accessible.

Sites are available throughout the city and offer different options, including:

  • In-person assistance: At most sites, an IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) / Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer preparer will prepare your taxes for you.
  • Drop-off service: At some sites, you can drop off your tax documents and pick up the completed return later.

Before you go, make sure to gather all relevant tax documents.

Required Documents to Bring to Site

You will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • 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

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 1099-G (unemployment)
  • 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)

Your 2017 tax return, if available

  • Verification of health insurance for each person listed on the return (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C) or Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if applicable
  • Form 1098-T (tuition payments to attend a university or technical college)
  • Form 1098-E (interest paid on student loans)
  • Documentation of child care payments for your children. Bring 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 be at the site to sign required forms.

Use the NYC Free Tax Prep Site Finder to search for a tax prep site.

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

  • Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
  • Division: Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer's Hotline
  • Phone Number: (800) 829-1040
  • Business Hours: Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours. Automated assistance is also available in Spanish.

  • Agency: Hudson Valley 211
  • Phone Number: (800) 899-1479
  • Business Hours: 24 Hours

  • Agency: New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 435-7555
  • Business Hours: 24 Hours

  • Agency: Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 203-1234
  • Business Hours: 24 Hours

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

Tax Day was April 15. However, you can still file your tax return for free at an NYC Free Tax Prep site or online through October 15, if you meet income requirements. If you owe the government money, be aware that late filing penalties apply.

Information is available in English and:

  • Arabic
  • Bengali
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

Online

Learn more about filing your taxtes online.

By Mail

Call 311 to request a paper copy.

A Refund Anticipation Check (RAC), or Refund Transfer, is a high-priced way to delay payment of tax preparation fees. A RAC will not speed up your refund.

A Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) is a high-interest loan. A RAL is not an "instant refund." It is a loan that you must pay back to the bank.

Beware of RALs, RACs, and Refund Transfers, as:

  • Using a RAL or RAC will cost you money and lower the total amount of the refund that you receive.
  • The bank making the loan can charge you fees and interest. The tax preparer who offered the loan cannot add charges or fees for preparing your RAL application.
  • It is illegal for a tax preparer to disguise a RAL as an "instant refund," a "rapid refund," an "express refund," "fast cash," "preFund," or by any other similar term that hides the fact that a RAL is a loan.
  • You cannot be required to take out a RAL.

You can keep your whole refund and file your taxes for free at NYC Free Tax Prep sites throughout the city.

If you use a paid preparer, be sure to ask about electronic filing, direct deposit, and other options to speed up payment of refunds and to avoid using RALs and RACs. If you use direct deposit, you can receive your federal tax refund in 8 to 14 business days.

You can get more information about RALs in the "Tax Preparation Service Guide."

If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your 2018 tax return, the IRS must hold your refund until at least February 15, 2019. 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. 

The IRS will begin accepting and processing tax returns once the filing season begins. You do not need to change how you file.

Even though the IRS cannot issue refunds for some early filers until at least February 15, 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. Be especially aware of any stated repayment dates that are earlier than February 15. Do not risk more costs by agreeing to a repayment schedule that requires full payment before you get your refund. 

You can check the status of your refund with the "Where's My Refund?" tool on the IRS website or the IRS2Go Mobile App. This tool is the best way to check the status of your refund after February 15.

Visit the IRS website.

Get the IRS2Go Mobile App.

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.

Online

Find an NYC Financial Empowerment Center.

By Phone

  • Agency: Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity
  • Division: Food Bank Paycheck Plus Program
  • Phone Number: (646) 981-6111
  • Business Hours: Mon - Fri: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM; Sat: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

  • Agency: Spring Bank
  • Phone Number: (718) 879-5000
  • Business Hours: Mon - Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

You can request a guide that explains your rights when you hire a tax preparer. Tax preparers must give you a free, current, and readable copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers before they begin discussing tax preparation.

Online

Visit the Department of Consumer Affairs' Consumer Shopping page.

By Mail

Call 311 to request a paper copy.

You can become a volunteer preparer in the NYC Free Tax Prep program this tax season.

You do not need tax experience. You will receive training on basic tax law and how to complete basic tax returns using electronic filing software. Other general requirements are:

  • Being comfortable working with people
  • Completing the IRS volunteer certification; and
  • Serving as a regular volunteer each week or every other week during tax season

Other volunteer opportunities include:

  • Greeter - You perform intake
  • Interpreter - You provide free language interpretation.

Training and support are provided for all roles.

IRS Continuing Education Credits

Enrolled Agents can earn IRS Continuing Education (CE) credits volunteering with the IRS VITA/TCE program through NYC Free Tax Prep.

Attorneys and Certified Public Accountants may also qualify for CE credits depending on their state licensing requirements or National Boards of Standards. 

Online

Visit the IRS website.

Visit New York Cares' website.

Learn about volunteer opportunities with NYC Service.

You can also contact freetaxprep@dca.nyc.gov with questions.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.