Senator Lanza Encourages New Yorkers to Use Free Tax Assistance at Over 400 Statewide Locations

Andrew J. Lanza

April 01, 2013

Free Tax Help for Eligible Residents as Filing Deadline of April 15 Approaches

Senator Andrew Lanza today joined Governor Cuomo, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), New York State agencies and numerous local organizations statewide to encourage low and middle-income taxpayers to take advantage of free services to prepare and file their income taxes as the filing deadline of April 15th approaches. 

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available to individuals and families with an annual income of $51,000 or less. Taxpayers can have their federal and state taxes prepared and filed for free by IRS-certified volunteers at these locations. 

Last year, VITA volunteers in New York prepared nearly 200,000 returns, and they consistently receive high reviews from the taxpayers who use their services.

The VITA program, sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service in partnership with state agencies and local non-profit organizations, operates more than 400 VITA sites statewide.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Many of these sites ask for appointments prior to a visit.

“Free File” from home if your income is under $57,000

Taxpayers with personal computers and incomes below $57,000 also have the option to file their income taxes for free from home. The Free File software is user-friendly and guides taxpayers through the state and federal returns, while helping to ensure that users claim the credits for which they’re eligible.

To avoid charges for their New York State tax returns, the Tax Department notes that taxpayers must access Free File from the link on its home page at

Faster Refunds

Because VITA sites and the Free File program submit state and federal returns electronically, those who qualify for a refund will get it faster than if they filed paper forms. E-filing is the fastest, safest way to file tax returns and receive refunds.

For more information

· Find a VITA site near you by visiting or calling IRS’ toll-free hotline at 1-800-906-9887

· Learn more about FreeFile and Income Tax Credits at