ALBANY — More than 97 percent of 3.1 million state tax returns received this year were e-filed.
As of Wednesday, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance had issued $1 billion in refunds to more than 1.1 million taxpayers — a 50 percent increase over the total on the same day in 2013.
“Most New Yorkers are eligible for free e-filing options that result in fewer errors on returns and faster refunds,” Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox said in a press release that encouraged e-filing.
The average refund for e-filers is issued in 22 days, while refunds for paper filers can take eight to 12 weeks, the release said.
The average refund as of Wednesday was $906.
NEW WEB FILE
Taxpayers with incomes of less than $52,000 are eligible to have an IRS-certified volunteer prepare their return at no cost. More than 400 free tax-preparation sites are located across the state; find a site at: http://tinyurl.com/ahf4ndy.
Also, the AARP has 300-plus free tax preparation locations statewide, with no income or age limits. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/mpmbzdt.
And taxpayers whose income is less than $58,000 can access free tax-preparation software to prepare their federal and state returns from the State Tax Department’s website (make sure to get it there so you are not unexpectedly charged to prepare your state return, the release cautioned). Find it at: http://www.tax.ny.gov.
“Taxpayers who have already filed their federal returns — or who only need to file a state return — can prepare and e-file their New York state return directly with the Tax Department using a new “Web File” option.
With the addition of Web File, the release said, 85 percent of New Yorkers can prepare and e-file their income taxes for free.
Find Web File at: http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/efile/pit_webfile.htm.