NY and IRS announce new free e-filing tool

NY and IRS announce new free e-filing tool

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New York state has announced a partnership with the IRS on a first-of-its-kind e-filing tool to help New Yorkers file taxes directly for free.

The organization CASH which stands for Creating Assets, Savings & Hope, provides free income tax services to eligible families in the community.

The director shared how this new e-filing tool can be beneficial as well as noting some of the challenges when it comes to e-filing your own taxes.

“Because of the digital divide as well as the literacy that goes into taxes, most individuals and our clients prefer someone to prepare our taxes,” Yversha Roman, director of CASH, said.

There are many, like Joshua Lugo of Rochester, who are loyal e-filers.

“I e-file, I use Turbo Tax. For me it’s made things easier. It’s the only way I know how to do taxes,” he said.

But for many, filing taxes can be quite intimidating.

The organization CASH offers services to those who are eligible and who want to save money by e-filing but need help.

“There still are accessibility and financial literacy points that can get in the way of people filing their own taxes. Taxes are daunting, it can be difficult, it can be confusing, and we’re here at CASH to help walk people through that,” Roman said.

Last year roughly only 200 people in Monroe County took advantage of IRS Free File.

New York state announced that at the beginning of 2024 it will roll out a new e-filing system for eligible New Yorkers to electronically file their taxes worry-free at zero cost to make it simpler and easier. Roman explained this can be beneficial for many.

“This is an opportunity to file your taxes jointly to help streamline the process, a little more user-friendly for our community. Individuals in Monroe County when using a tax preparer are using about $300 of their return on average. We’ve seen folks pay a lot more. That’s a lot of money. And that’s our mission, right, we help the dollars go back into the hands of our clients,” Roman said.

So, what makes this free electronic filing system different from the others? Currently when you use other tools available, such as IRS Free File or the Department of Taxation and Finance’s e-file options, the process can take more time filing your federal and state taxes separately. This new e-filing software will combine the state and IRS’s federal online e-filing tools. The hope is to streamline the process and allow taxpayers to jointly file their state and federal tax returns directly and quickly.

Roman explained some of the challenges people may face when it comes to taking the process of e-filing into their own hands.

“Sometimes some of those individuals find themselves in sticky situations because they inputted something the wrong way,” Roman said.

Lugo says e-filing is the best thing since sliced bread and is open to trying this electronic filing system.

“Yeah, I’d be open to giving it a try, nothing hurts, until I see how much I’m getting back and if I’m getting charged for it. I’ll try it,” Lugo said.