Beginning in January 2021, eligible New Yorkers can use NYC Free Tax Prep to file their federal and state income taxes for free online or in person. Tax Day is April 15, 2021.


In general, to use NYC Free Tax Prep, you must:

  • Earn $68,000 or less if you have dependents
  • Earn $48,000 or less if you don't have dependents
  • Have a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Live or work in New York City

Some organizations offering NYC Free Tax Prep may have different income eligibility requirements. You should ask the organization for more details, including if they offer language assistance.

NYC Free Tax Prep provides two ways to file your taxes for free online with help from IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) / Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) volunteer preparers:

  • Virtual Tax Preparation: Use a secure video conference and digital system to give information to a volunteer who will prepare your taxes for you.
  • Assisted Self-Preparation: Use the online service to do your own taxes; a volunteer preparer will be available by phone or email to answer your questions.

Learn more about NYC Free Tax Prep online services.

What You Need

To use the online services, you must have:

  • Access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • A stable internet connection
  • Texting or email (for assisted self-preparation)
  • The ability to download secure video conference software (for virtual tax preparation)

You can go to an NYC Free Tax Prep site to get free help preparing your taxes. Sites offer different options, including:

  • In-person assistance: An IRS certified VITA/TCE volunteer preparer will prepare your taxes for you.
  • Drop-off service: You can drop off your tax documents and pick up the completed return later.

You must follow New York State health guidelines, including wearing a mask and social distancing during the visit. In addition, organizations may conduct screenings or have additional health and safety requirements. You should ask the organization for more details.

Required Documents

You will need the following documents to do taxes:

  • Government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, IDNYC card, or passport
  • Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number determination letters (original, copy, or electronic document) for you, your spouse, and your dependents 
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • Your 2018 tax return, if available
  • Income statements or forms, including:
    • Form W-2 (wages from each job)
    • Form 1099-INT (interest)
    • Form 1099-DIV (dividends)
    • Form 1099-R (retirement plans)
    • Form W-2G (gambling winnings)
    • Form 1099-G (unemployment)
    • Form SSA-1099 (Social Security benefits)
    • Form 1099-MISC (miscellaneous income)
    • Form 1099-B (sale of stock)
    • Form 1098-T (scholarships and grants)
    • Form 1099-C (cancellation of debt)
  • Proof of health insurance (Forms 1095-A, 1095-B, or 1095-C) or Health Insurance Exemption Certificate (if applicable) for you, your spouse, and your dependents
  • Form 1098-T (tuition payments to attend a university or technical college)
  • Form 1098-E (interest paid on student loans)
  • Payment records for child care, including the provider's name, address, and Employer Identification Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, or Social Security number.
  • Records of cash and non-cash charitable contributions

To request direct deposit for your refund, you will need checking or savings account and routing numbers, which you can find at the bottom of a check.

If you are married and filing jointly, both you and your spouse must sign required forms.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, eligible individuals and families will receive Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) of up to $1,200 (for single filers) and $2,400 (for married couples filing jointly) plus an additional $500 for each dependent child under age 17.

To be eligible:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number (SSN).
  • You must have Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2019 that is under $99,000 (single filer) and $198,000 (joint filers).
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

Inmates are eligible for the stimulus payment if they meet the eligibility guidelines.

You will receive an automatic payment if you:

  • Filed your 2018 and/or 2019 tax return before April 13, 2020 and meet the income criteria.
  • Do not file a tax return but receive:
    • Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation and Pension benefits
    • Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits (includes retirement and Social Security Disability Income)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits
    • Survivors benefits (VA, SSA, RRB)

If you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes and included your banking information for direct deposit, the payment will be deposited in your bank account.

The deadline to submit banking information for direct deposit was Wednesday, May 13th. You can no longer request direct deposit. You will get payment by mail.

Deadline to Receive Stimulus Payment

The deadline to register online to receive a stimulus payment this year was on November 21, 2020.

If you missed this deadline, you may still be eligible to receive a stimulus payment in 2021 if:

  • You did not register online or by mail and did not get a payment in 2020, or
  • You received a payment, but it wasn’t the full amount of the stimulus payment. The maximum credit is $1,200, or $2,400 if married filing jointly, plus $500 for each qualifying child.

When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR, you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Save your IRS letter Notice 1444 (Economic Impact Payment) with your 2020 tax records. You’ll need the amount of the payment in the letter when you file in 2021.

Prepaid Debit Card

Some people will receive their stimulus payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. These Economic Impact Payment Cards arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank. The card will come with instructions on how to activate and use it. 

Those who receive a stimulus payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees:

  • Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
  • Get cash from in-network ATMs
  • Transfer funds to their personal bank account
  • Check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone


Read "What You Need to Know About Economic Impact Payments."

Learn more about Economic Impact Payment Cards.

Check the status of your stimulus payment.

By Phone

  • Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
  • Division: Economic Impact Payment Hotline
  • Phone Number: (800) 919-9835
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 7 PM

If you live outside New York City, you can call the following telephone numbers for information about free tax preparation assistance and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

  • Agency: AARP Member Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (888) 227-7669
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
  • Division: Internal Revenue Service Taxpayer's Hotline
  • Phone Number: (800) 829-1040
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 7 PM
  • Automated assistance is available in English and Spanish.

  • Agency: Hudson Valley 211
  • Phone Number: (800) 899-1479
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Agency: New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 435-7555
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Agency: Connecticut Earned Income Tax Credit Line
  • Phone Number: (800) 203-1234
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

You can get a brochure with information about free tax filing options.


    You can download an NYC Free Tax Prep brochure and flyers in English and:

    • Arabic
    • Bengali
    • Chinese
    • French
    • Haitian Creole
    • Hebrew
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Polish
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Urdu
    • Yiddish

    Download the NYC Free Tax Prep brochure and flyers.

    By Mail

    You can get a copy of the NYC Free Tax Prep brochure in English and in:

    • Arabic
    • Bengali
    • Chinese
    • French
    • Haitian Creole
    • Korean
    • Polish
    • Russian
    • Spanish
    • Urdu

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

    Publications are currently unavailable by mail, but you can still get them online.

    Call 311 to request a paper copy.

    If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your 2019 tax return, the IRS must hold your refund until at least February 15, 2020. The IRS must hold your entire refund, including any part not from the EITC or ACTC.

    This delay is the result of a law intended to protect you by making sure that you receive the refund you are owed. It also gives the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.

    Even though the IRS cannot issue refunds for some early filers until at least February 15, the IRS will still issue most refunds in less than 21 days.

    Be careful about payment obligations, given the refund delay. This includes using a Refund Anticipation Loan or other loan and preparer fee agreements in which repayment is dependent on your tax refund. Learn more about Refund Anticipation Products on the Tax Preparation Business Tips page.

    Be especially aware of any stated repayment dates that are earlier than February 15. Do not risk more costs by agreeing to a repayment schedule that requires full payment before you get your refund.

    Learn about Federal tax refunds and check refund status.

    The SaveUSA program has ended. If you were a participant and have questions, please contact the Food Bank Paycheck Plus Program or Spring Bank.

    Account holders should speak with their tax preparer about savings options for their refunds this year. You can also schedule an appointment for free financial counseling at an NYC Financial Empowerment Center. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, visit the Financial Counseling page.

    • Agency: Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity
    • Division: Food Bank Paycheck Plus Program
    • Phone Number: (646) 981-6111
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 7 PM; Saturday: 10 AM - 4 PM

    • Agency: Spring Bank
    • Phone Number: (718) 879-5000
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM