Assemblymember McMahon: Free Tax Help is Available

As the April 15 deadline to file state and federal income taxes nears, Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst/Pendleton) announced that resources are available to help Western New Yorkers throughout the process.

“Tax season can be confusing and stressful for many in our community, especially with so many questions about the new federal tax law,” McMahon said. “Thankfully, there are great free programs locally to make it easier and help you maximize your refund.”

Individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $66,000 in 2018 can file their state and federal income tax returns for free by using the state’s electronic filing program. E-filing can be completed in the comfort of your home, local library or on a mobile device and is the fastest way to file, McMahon noted. To file both your state and federal returns for free under this program, visit

Additionally, free on-site e-filing assistance is also available through Daemen College and SUNY Alpha Beta PSI at the University at Buffalo as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. To find out more about participating sites in our area, visit

E-filing and using direct deposit is recommended by the state tax department to avoid errors that can delay refunds. The state tax department has additional tips to avoid problems with your tax filing at

Too often seniors and middle-class families are victimized by scams during tax filing season, noted McMahon. It’s important to remember that the IRS will never request payments over the phone. Scammers are reportedly using caller ID to appear legitimate and may even know the last four digits of the Social Security number of the person they’re targeting. If you receive a call like this, hang up and call the Tax Assistance Hotline at 800-829-1040. For more information about how to avoid and report tax scams, visit