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News from DCA - Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 16, 2012

Kay Sarlin / Abigail Lootens, (212) 487-4283


DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER MINTZ ENCOURAGES NEW YORKERS TO CLAIM THEIR EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT REFUNDS WITH APRIL 17TH TAX DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING

New Yorkers Who Make $57,000 or Less Can Claim Refunds by Either Filing for Free at Tax Sites Across the City or Online or at Commercial Tax Preparer Partners for Only $29 at nyc.gov/taxprep

With one month left until the April 17th tax deadline, Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Jonathan Mintz encourages New Yorkers who make less than $49,078 and haven’t yet claimed their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds to file their taxes using the City’s free or low cost filing options. 

“The average Earned Income Tax Credit is $2,500 and we want every single one of the nearly one million eligible New Yorkers to go get their refunds,” said Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “If you make $57,000 or less call 311 or visit nyc.gov/taxprep so we can connect you to free or very low cost tax preparation services, including the ability to file for free online,”

Online Tax Preparation: Do Your Taxes Yourself for Free at Home.  New Yorkers earning less than $57,000 can file their taxes online for free at nyc.gov/taxprep.  The City is partnering with Intuit Inc. and One Economy Corporation to offer this online free tax preparation. Depending on your online selection, you will be routed to TurboTax® Freedom Edition or Beehive’s online tax tool powered by H&R Block.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites: Have Someone Do Your Tax Return for Free.  New Yorkers with children who earn less than $50,000 or $18,000 for those who do not have children can visit one of 69 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in the five boroughs where a certified volunteer will prepare their taxes for free. New Yorkers who participated in the SaveUSA program last year are encouraged to visit a participating VITA site and fund their account again.  Enrollment for new participants is currently closed for 2012. There are no longer funds available for new SaveUSA participants to enroll. SaveUSA participants receive a 50 percent match, up to $500, if they deposit at least $200 of their tax refund into a SaveUSA account and maintain the initial deposit for one year.
 
H&R Block Discount: Have Professional Preparers Do Your Tax Returns for Only $29.  New Yorkers can have their tax returns prepared at a participating H&R Block office with a City-sponsored coupon for just $29. To qualify for the H&R Block discount, residents must earn less than $41,000 with children or $31,000 if they have no children. Those interested should visit the City’s website nyc.gov/taxprep to print out the coupon. New Yorkers who qualify for H&R Block discount tax preparation in 2011 will receive the same $29 offer next year if they are eligible. If you used the H&R Block coupon last year, you qualify to use it again this year if you are still income eligible.

The City’s Annual Tax Credit Campaign increases awareness about tax credits that can put money back in the pockets of working New Yorkers, and helps qualifying New Yorkers file their taxes online for free or low cost. New Yorkers eligible to receive the EITC could receive up to $7,700 and working families with children three years old and younger could be eligible for up to $1,700 with the New York City Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC). The NYC CCTC assists families with low incomes or who are underemployed with the cost of child care for children.

Since 2002, the Campaign has helped New Yorkers claim almost $20 billion in Federal, State and City refunds, including $1 billion directly through the City’s network of free and low cost sites.  New York City’s Tax Credit Campaign is spearheaded by the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and its Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and supported in part by donations made to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Hundreds of participating organizations partner with the City to raise awareness about the Campaign and deliver tax preparation services. Partnerships with New York City’s Human Resources Administration, Housing Authority, Department of Homeless Services, and the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications help promote the Campaign.

DCA enforces the Consumer Protection Law and other related business laws throughout New York City. Ensuring a fair and vibrant marketplace for consumers and businesses, DCA licenses more than 78,000 businesses in 55 different industries. Through targeted outreach, partnerships with community and trade organizations, and informational materials, DCA educates consumers and businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities.  DCA’s Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is the first local government initiative in the nation with a mission to educate, empower, and protect New Yorkers with low incomes so they can build assets and make the most of their financial resources. Toward that end, OFE seeks to increase access to high-quality, low-cost financial education and counseling; improve access to income-boosting tax credits; connect households to safe and affordable banking and asset-building products and services; and enforce and improve consumer protections to enhance financial stability. For more information, call 311 or visit DCA online at nyc.gov/consumers

2012 Tax Preparation Required Documents

When having someone prepare your taxes in person, bring:

  • Proof of identity, such as a driver's license or other photo ID
  • Social Security cards for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents and/or a Social Security Number (SSN) verification letter from the Social Security Administration OR Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) letter for all names on the return (original or copies)
  • Birth dates for yourself, your spouse, and the dependents on the return
  • Wage and earning statement from your employer(s): Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1098 and 1099)
  • A copy of your 2010 federal and state returns, if available
  • Proof of any other income, e.g., lottery winnings
  • Total paid for child care provider and the provider's Taxpayer Identification Number or SSN (if you are claiming the New York City Child Care Tax Credit)
  • Bank account and routing numbers (if you are directly depositing your refund). Note: If you use direct deposit, you should receive your federal tax refund in only 8 to 14 business days.
  • To file a Married Filing Jointly return, both spouses must be present to sign required forms.

When preparing taxes online, you'll need:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) OR Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for yourself, your spouse, and the dependents on the return
  • Birth dates for yourself, your spouse, and the dependents on the return
  • Your 2010 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or Self-Select PIN number. (AGI is the amount shown on your 2011 Form 1040, line 38; Form 1040A, line 22; or Form 1040EZ, line 4. The Self-Select PIN is the five-digit PIN you used to electronically sign your 2009 return.) If you cannot find this information, call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at 1-800-829-1040.
  • Wage and earning statement from your employer(s): Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R
  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1098 and 1099)
  • Proof of any other income, e.g., lottery winnings
  • Total paid for child care provider and the provider's Taxpayer Identification Number or SSN (if you are claiming the New York City Child Care Tax Credit)
  • Bank account and routing numbers (if you are directly depositing your refund). Note: If you use direct deposit, you should receive your federal tax refund in only 8 to 14 business days.

For more information New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov/taxprep or contact 311.



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