The state Department of Taxation and Finance has helped more than 42,000 taxpayers with limited English proficiency through its free language interpretation services launched in October 2012, according to state officials.
By the end of this past income tax filing season in April, 42,415 taxpayers who called in to the Taxpayer Information Center were offered language assistance in 79 different languages. That represents a 56 percent increase in demand between 2013 and 2014.
The most common languages in which limited English proficient taxpayers requested assistance were Spanish, with 31,266 calls; Mandarin Chinese, with 3,842 calls and Russian, with 3,020 calls. Collectively, they accounted for 90 percent of the calls for assistance through the tax department’s Language Access Program.
“All New Yorkers deserve access to state services, regardless of the language they speak,” Thomas H. Mattox, commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance, said in a statement.
“This need – this inclusion – has been recognized by all state agencies, and the Tax Department’s results prove that it is the right thing to do,” Mattox added.
Those seeking language assistance through the Department of Taxation and Finance may call (518) 453-8137.