As tax filing day approaches, Senator Martin Malavé Dilan is reminding New Yorkers that new provisions to the State Tax Law prohibit tax preparers from charging an additional fee for electronically filing your return.
“Many New Yorkers rely on preparers or software to fill out their tax returns. To save yourself time and money, remember that this year you do not have to pay a $20 fee to have someone else electronically submit your return,” said Senator Dilan.
To electronically file a return on a taxpayer’s behalf, preparers typically charged $20. A provision of last year’s state budget, the surcharge was prohibited for 2011 to help reduce the cost associated with filing to both the taxpayer and the state Department of Tax and Finance.
The surcharge often led savvy taxpayers to request preparers to file their return by mail to avoid the surcharge. Doing away with the monetary perk to file by mail—in favor of filing electronically—will help bolster efficiency and lower costs, according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance.
“Although many state agencies are tackling reduced operational costs this year, rest assured that the state’s Taxation and Finance Department is on hand, to not only make filing this year cheaper, but easier,” said Senator Dilan.
The department has announced other cost saving provisions for 2011 including: removing an e-file opt-out for preparers filing more than 100 returns annually, and the discontinuation of toll-free numbers taxpayers can use to contact the department. According to the department, between local numbers and the ability to contact them online, taxpayers will have continued access to their offices, while cutting operational costs. Through 2011, toll-free calls to the department will be re-routed.
The Internal Revenue Service has extended the filing deadline for income tax returns to April 18 this year. For more information visit tax.ny.gov or call Senator Dilan’s District Office at (718) 573-1726.