Save Time and Money: Tax Filing Tips from the New York State Tax Department

Free resources ease the task of filing an accurate tax return and prevent refund delays

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today shared valuable filing tips to help taxpayers save time and money this tax season. Taxpayers who earned $69,000 or less in 2019 can prepare and file their returns for free by using tax preparation software available through the Tax Department website, www.tax.ny.gov (click: Free File). These resources can help ensure that taxpayers submit accurate and timely returns.

“Our most important tax tip is to e-file,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “It’s the most efficient and secure way to prepare and submit your return, and it will speed the issuance of any refund you may be owed. For a smooth experience, I encourage all taxpayers to follow these tips.”

Tax filing tips

  1. Prepare and file your return electronically. E-filed returns are processed faster than paper returns, have fewer errors, and are more secure than ones sent through the mail.
  2. Have driver licenses handy. You must provide driver license information for you and all other filers on the return, for example your spouse if filing a joint return. This guards against fraudulent returns and refund claims filed by identity thieves.
  3. Provide correct social security numbers for yourself and others on the return including your spouse if filing jointly, and any dependents you claim. This prevents processing and refund delays.
  4. Report estimated tax payments accurately. Create an Online Services account at the Tax Department website (www.tax.ny.gov), and you’ll be able to check your balances, pay estimated tax electronically, and review your payment history. To avoid processing delays, contact the Tax Department if you’re unsure of your estimated tax payments.
  5. Include all required forms and schedules. Paper filers must include Form IT-2, Summary of W-2 Statements.

Include the information that shows eligibility for any claims for credits or deductions. Paper filers must attach supporting forms and schedules to their return, which is another reason we encourage e-filing; the tax preparation software automatically includes this information.

  1. Let the tax preparation software do the math for you; if you’re doing your own math, double check all calculations.
  2. Choose direct deposit as your refund method. To do this, simply check direct deposit on your tax return, then be sure to enter your correct bank account and routing numbers. The combination of e-file and direct deposit will allow you to receive your New York State tax refund up to two weeks sooner than if you filed on paper and requested that a refund check be mailed to you.
  3. If you do forgo the simplicity and convenience of direct deposit, make sure your mailing address is correct when requesting a refund check by mail. Any error can delay your refund.

E-file amended returns. The software will know exactly what’s required. If you’re filing an amended return on paper, complete it as if you are filing the return for the first time. You cannot file only the changes to the return. Submit all the forms relevant to the information in your amended return, even if these forms were already included with the original return.