Still need to file taxes? NY state's tax commissioner shares 5 helpful tips

Maya Rajamani
July 14, 2020 - 7:04 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The deadline to file 2019 income tax returns is Wednesday, July 15, but if you haven’t filed yet, you’re not alone, New York state’s tax commissioner said in an interview with 1010 WINS. 

Listen Live Now on 1010 WINS

As of Monday, 9.3 million New Yorkers had already filed their taxes, but the state still expects “another million or so to come in” on or before the deadline, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt told 1010 WINS' Elizabeth Sherwood on Tuesday.

Here are five things Schmidt said New York state taxpayers can do to make the process easier: 

  • If you’re a New Yorker who earned $69,000 or less in 2019, you’re eligible to use the state’s “Free File” income tax software, Schmidt said. “Typically tax preparation fees can cost around $200. Sometimes it costs much much more,” he said. “And so this is a program that does provide free online filing services to the majority of taxpayers in New York state.” Taxpayers interested in using the software can do so on the department’s website
  • File your tax returns electronically, if you can. “That ends up being faster, safer, more secure,” Schmidt said. 
  • Use direct deposit to receive your refunds, if possible. “That way, (taxpayers) can receive their refunds as quickly as possible,” he said. 
  • Make sure you double-check the information on your return before submitting. “Oftentimes, returns can have errors like inverted digits on a Social Security number, or maybe you insert the numbers from your W-2 incorrectly,” he said. “If you can catch those errors, oftentimes that can save you a lot of time on the back end.” 
  • If you need help filing, call the state’s help center at 518-457-5181. “We have over 400 professionals who stand ready to receive calls and answer questions about our 'Free File' program, or really, about anything relating to New York state taxes,” Schmidt said. “Right now, wait times at the call center are just over one minute.”