NEW YORK STATE OFFERS FREE INCOME TAX FILING
Everyone knows that paying taxes is never fun, but I wanted to let you know about a service that might allow you to file your taxes for free.
Currently, half of all New York State taxpayers can now file their federal and state income tax returns at no cost through Free File. You may be eligible if you earned $57,000 or less in 2012. In order to qualify for federal AND state Free File, you must visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance web site.
The Department has also provided the following tips for filing your 2012 income taxes:
Look into credits. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a state and federal program that brings substantial refunds for working individuals and families. The state credit alone could mean up to $1,767 for a family with three or more children - this on top of a maximum federal credit of $5,891. Other New York credits are available, too, such as the Child and Dependent Care Credit and the Empire State Child Credit.
Receive your refund on a debit card. Check the box on your return that says you'd like your refund on a debit card. The Tax Department's debit card can be used like any debit card and, in most instances, there's no charge for withdrawals or purchases. Taxpayers - even those without bank accounts - can take it to a bank and withdraw the entire amount for free.
Hiring a tax preparer? Know your rights before you hire a paid tax preparer. For instance, ask for a written estimate of all fees before handing over your tax records. These rights are spelled out in the Tax
Department's "Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers" publication available free at its web site.
Don't forget to file. And do so by the April 15th deadline. If you owe taxes, you'll avoid penalties and interest for late filing. Taxpayers should file for an extension before the deadline if they can't file a return by April 15th.
Declare all income. All income earned from employment or self-employment is subject to income tax - even income received as cash. This applies whether the income is earned for full, part time, temporary or supplemental employment.
While no one really enjoys paying taxes, I do hope that this information proves useful to you and your family.