Free Tax Prep Sites in Syracuse

It's tax season again! Here are tips for getting free tax prep help, and making the most of your return this year.

1. Get help that’s REALLY free.

Beware of the tax-prep vultures. Many for-profit companies will offer to file your taxes for free, in hopes of selling you a costly Refund Anticipation Loan. They call it "fast cash" with no out-of-pocket fees, but what they don't tell you is that the fees deducted from your tax return amount to totally exorbitant interest rates – usually ranging from 40% APR to 1000% APR! That’s predatory lending.

There are many places in the Syracuse area where you can get free, legitimate tax prep help, through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.

  • All sites open during the first week of February, unless otherwise noted.
  • Whichever location you choose, be sure to bring your tax documents, a photo ID, and account information (if you want direct deposit of your refund).

Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center (SEOC)

  • Operated By: 1199 SEIU Upstate
  • Where: 100 New Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
  • When: Walk-in service is available Monday through Thursday, 5 pm to 9 pm, and Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm. You can also make an appointment by calling (315) 295-1822. Plus, you can get a free one-on-one credit report review with one of Coop Fed's counselors, after you file your taxes (Tuesdays and Thursdays only).

Cooperative Federal Northside Office

  • Operated By: LeMoyne College, in partnership with Coop Fed & Northside UP
  • Where: 800 North Salina Street (Assisi Center), Syracuse, NY 13208
  • When: 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1, 3/8, 3/29, 4/5, and 4/12. Walk-Ins Only.

Shoppingtown Mall - Sears Corridor

  • Operated By: PEACE, Inc
  • Where: 3649 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, NY 13214
  • When: Walk-in service is available Tuesdays 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesdays & Thursdays 12 pm to 7 pm, and Saturdays 12 pm to 5 pm. Or, you can make an appointment by calling (315) 634-3756.

JOBSPlus!

  • Where: 677 South Salina Street, #201, Syracuse, NY 13202
  • When: Services are available by appointment only. Call (315) 442-3242. Tax prep assistance for small businesses is available on a limited basis, by request.

Beauchamp Library

  • Where: 2111 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13205
  • When: Services are available by appointment only. Call (315) 446-3490.

St. Albans Church

  • Where: 1308 Meadowbrook Drive, Syracuse, NY 13224
  • When: Services are available by appointment only. Call (315) 446-3490.

AARP Foundation

  • Where: Search for Onondaga County sites at www.aarp.org.
  • When: Varies by location.

For more help understanding and navigating the tax filing process, plus a database of reputable Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), check out TaxHelp.org.

2. Don’t pay for your own money.

If you e-file with direct deposit, your refund will arrive in just 1 to 2 weeks! No fees, no interest, no baloney. All of the VITA sites listed above use e-file, and will help you enroll for direct deposit.

At Cooperative Federal, you can arrange a direct deposit into your checking OR savings account.

If you really can’t wait 2 weeks for your refund, you may want to consider applying for a small loan or line of credit – at regular interest rates, not predatory rates! Call 315-473-0242 to speak with a credit specialist at Cooperative Federal.

3. Make the most of your refund.

Tax refund time is the best time to save toward your financial goals – like a home, a business, or higher education.

If homeownership is your goal, Cooperative Federal is now accepting applicants to our Homebuyer Matched Savings Program. First-time homebuyers (those who haven’t owned a home in 3 years) can get up to $9,500 in matching grants when they save $2,000. The money can then be used toward down payments, closing costs, or other approved purposes. Call Kira Crawford at (315) 473-0211 to learn more, and to sign up for our monthly enrollment workshop. Income limits and other eligibility criteria apply.

We also offer credit advising, budgeting help, and other financial counseling to help you stay on track and reach your financial goals. A $15 fee gets you 60 minutes on one-on-one help, including a copy of your credit report with credit score; scholarships may also be available to pay your fee. Call our education & counseling department at (315) 476-1451.

Cooperative Federal is not responsible for content on third-party websites.

Cooperative Federal accounts are federally insured by NCUA Cooperative Federal is an Equal Housing Lender
Cooperative Federal is an equal housing lender
Cooperative Federal accounts are federally insured by NCUA