Free Tax Preparation and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Sites
VITA is a free, IRS-sponsored program to help low and middle-income workers have their federal and State personal income taxes prepared and filed electronically at no cost. VITA also ensures that workers receive all the tax credits to which they are entitled.
Many workers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC) don’t feel comfortable filling out tax forms themselves. However, commercial tax preparers charge significant fees to prepare a return and offer services that can otherwise be provided at no cost at a VITA site. People eligible for EITC and CTC have a no-cost option — they can have their returns prepared and filed at a VITA site.
Every county in the State has at least one VITA site. Visit the IRS VITA site locator. Opening and closing dates vary by site as well as hours and days of operation. In addition, many sites do require an appointment.
Get Tax Refund Quickly
Not only can many New Yorkers get their taxes done for free at VITA sites, but if they have a bank account and use direct deposit, they may receive their federal refund within as few as 10 days. Using direct deposit, people can avoid borrowing against their refund with high-cost loans called Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL).
How to Open a Bank Account
Those without a bank account who want direct deposit can obtain information on how to open a bank account at the New York State Banking Department’s website.