Photo courtesy of Office of state Senator Toby Ann Stavitsky
State Senator Toby Ann Stavitsky announces free tax assistance program

Tax relief is coming to less fortunate Queens residents thanks to the efforts of two local lawmakers.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavitsky and Councilman Peter Koo announced Friday a free online tax assistance program for those with a household income under $62,000.

The program is sponsored by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and will be hosted by the Flushing and Queensboro Hill branches of the Queens Library through April.

According to the lawmakers, 92 percent of New Yorkers file their taxes electronically, as it is considered to be one of the safest and most accurate ways to file taxes, with an error rate 20 times lower than paper returns and a faster tax refund. As a part of this program, those with a combined income that does not exceed $62,000 can e-file for free.

To accommodate the large immigrant population of the two neighborhoods, multilingual volunteers will be on hand to assist residents. English, Mandarin and Korean services will be offered in Flushing; Mandarin, Korean and Japanese services will be offered in Queensboro Hill.

“Tax season is stressful for everyone, but even more so for low-income families who often cannot afford to hire outside help to work on their tax forms,” Stavisky said. She said the language services would simplify the tax process for immigrants.

“As we all know, navigating the intricacies of our tax system can be a confusing labyrinth, especially for new immigrants,” Councilman Koo added. “As tax season begins, this service can be a great help to low-income families and individuals in need of an affordable way to complete their tax returns.”

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