Stop Stalling, File Now! April’s Sneaking Up Faster Than A Nosy Neighbor

March 14, 2024

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga today reminded all New Yorkers that there is only one month left to file their annual tax returns, which are due Monday, April 15, 2024. 

NYC Free Tax Prep helps New Yorkers keep their full refund including valuable tax credits like the enhanced NYC Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), at no cost to them. Residents who earned $85,000 or less and file as a family, or those who earned $59,000 or less and file as an individual or couple without dependents, are eligible to file through NYC Free Tax Prep. Last year, NYC Free Tax Prep filed more than 84,000 tax returns, saving New Yorkers more than $13 million in costly tax preparation fees and helping them avoid predatory paid tax preparers. This tax season, DCWP issued more than 70 summonses to paid tax preparers for violating at least one of the City’s consumer protection laws. 

“With just one month left in the tax season, we urge all eligible New Yorkers to file their taxes at no cost through NYC Free Tax Prep,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “Our network of volunteer tax preparers are standing by at more than 140 sites to help you prepare your returns either in-person, online, or you can even drop off your documents and pick up your completed return later. Do not wait – the sooner you file, the sooner you can get your refund!”

NYC Free Tax Prep Services:


  • In-Person Tax Prep—sit down with a volunteer preparer: At in-person tax prep sites, knowledgeable IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer preparers help filers complete an accurate tax return. More than 140 sites are now open across the city.
  • Drop-off Service—drop off your documents and pick up your completed return later: With drop-off service, filers can drop off their tax documents and pick up the completed return later.
  • Virtual Tax Prep—like in-person free filing but online: Virtual Tax Prep is an online service where an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer will video conference with filers to help prepare their tax return using a secure digital system. Filers can submit photos or scans of tax documents to the preparer, confirm their identity, and complete their return by video call with a preparer. Filers will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone; a stable internet connection; and the ability to download secure video conference software.
  • Assisted Self-Preparation—free online tax prep on your own or with help: Assisted Self-Preparation allows filers to complete their tax return online on their own and an IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer will be available by phone or email to answer questions. Filers will need access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone; a stable internet connection; an email address, and their 2022 adjusted gross income (AGI) or self-select PIN.

Paid Tax Preparers:

The City encourages eligible filers to file for free with NYC Free Tax Prep but consumers who use a paid tax preparer should ask the preparer for the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers (additional languages available), read it carefully before having their taxes prepared. Consumers should also be on alert for predatory tax preparers that overcharge, charge hidden fees, or file their return without permission.

NYC Free Tax Prep for Self-Employed New Yorkers:

NYC Free Tax Prep for Self-Employed Filers provides free tax preparation services tailored to the needs of gig workers, freelancers and small business owners who often face barriers to filing taxes and managing financial recordkeeping. In addition to providing annual and quarterly estimated tax filling preparation assistance, workshops and one-on-one consultations help the growing number of New Yorkers who perform gig and freelance work to learn the basics of tax filing and recordkeeping best practices as self-employed filers. To be eligible for tax preparation services for self-employed filers, New Yorkers must have business expenses of $250,000 or below. New Yorkers can find a site with these specially trained tax preparers by selecting “Self-Employed” on the NYC Free Tax Prep Map site finder; Business owners can find upcoming workshops on the DCWP event calendar or request a workshop for your organization or community by completing an online form on the DCWP website.

New Yorkers can call 311 or visit nyc.gov/TaxPrep to choose the best filing option for them and find the most convenient location if choosing in-person or drop-off tax prep. A checklist of what documents New Yorkers need to bring with them to file and multilingual information about the services are available at nyc.gov/TaxPrep. In-person services are available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian-Creole, Hebrew, Korean, Russian, Urdu and others to come. Visit nyc.gov/TaxPrep to stay up to date and join the #FreeTaxPrep conversation on DCWP’s social media channels. 

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 45,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp

Photo credit: HWM.



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