Bill S4570-2013

Directs the department of taxation and finance to create and implement an online program which will enable New York state taxpayers to electronically file income tax returns free of charge

Directs the department of taxation and finance to create and implement an online program which will enable each New York state taxpayer to prepare and electronically file his or her federal and state income tax returns free of charge.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • Apr 11, 2013: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4570

TITLE OF BILL: An act directing the department of taxation and finance to create and implement an online program which will enable each New York state taxpayer to prepare and electronically file his or her federal and state income tax returns free of charge

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section One of the bill states that the department of taxation and finance is authorized and directed to create and implement an online program which will enable each New York State taxpayer to prepare and electronically file his or her federal and state income tax returns free of charge, regardless of the taxpayer's income level. The program shall be made available to all New York State taxpayers in the department's website no later than one hundred eighty days following the effective date of this act.

EXISTING LAW: New law

JUSTIFICATION: This legislation shall direct the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to create an online program for all New York State taxpayers to prepare and file their federal and state income tax returns for free. Currently, there are a number of different for-profit companies offering so-called "Free File," but they often include hidden fees, and only taxpayers within certain income ranges are eligible. Many years into the digital age, our government is entirely capable of offering free online tax preparation and electronic filing without forcing the taxpayer to be duped into using possibly dubious private online tax preparation services.

It is a solid and fundamental principal that taxes are what we pay for civilized society, and most New Yorkers are proud to help pay for essential government programs like public education and food safety regulation. Yet there is no justification for the fees charged by for-profit tax prep and e-filing companies, which serve as obsolete intermediaries in the digital age. Countless government services can be easily accessed on government websites-from registering to vote to applying for public benefits to making complaints about potholes-and there is no reason that filing tax returns should be any different. We don't force people making more than $57,000 to pay a private company for help registering with the Selective Service System, and the State of New York should not allow it for the filing of taxes either.

Government should be embracing technology, not using it as a way to direct people to the services of for-profit companies.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4570 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 11, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT directing the department of taxation and finance to create and implement an online program which will enable each New York state taxpayer to prepare and electronically file his or her federal and state income tax returns free of charge THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The department of taxation and finance is authorized and directed to create and implement an online program which will enable each New York state taxpayer to prepare and electronically file his or her federal and state income tax returns free of charge, regardless of the taxpayer's income level. This program shall be made available to all New York state taxpayers on the department's website no later than one hundred eighty days following the effective date of this act. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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