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I am trying to file my New York state tax return as cheaply as possible. I have already e-filed my federal return for free. I see on https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/efile/other-efile-options.htm the following:

If your 2017 income was more than $66,000, you are not eligible to use Free File software to prepare and e-file your state return. However, you may purchase approved commercial software (or use a paid preparer) to prepare and e-file your state return.

It seems the obvious answer to my question is no, but I want to double check because that doesn't make much sense. Am I correct to understand that because I made more than $66,000 in 2017:

  1. There is no way for me to e-file for free.
  2. The only way I can e-file is to pay a commercial service (more than the cost of a stamp & envelope).
  3. The cheapest way to file is to buy a stamp & envelope, print & fill out the paper form, and snail mail it in.

It seems counterintuitive for the state to incentivize snail mail over e-filing, especially on the basis of my income, so that's why I'm asking for confirmation that I have this right. Thanks!

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    What did you use to e-file your federal forms for free? Free File Fillable Forms, or something else? – Ben Miller Apr 9 '18 at 17:24
  • @BenMiller yes, Free File Fillable Forms. – user9760 Apr 9 '18 at 18:53
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You can only e-file in NY state using pre-approved software or if you are a tax professional with a valid EFIN. This is true regardless of your income.

https://tax.ny.gov/pit/efile/efile_mandate_for_individuals.htm

  1. you use software to prepare your own personal income tax return;
  2. your software supports the electronic filing of your return; and
  3. you have broadband Internet access.

You may purchase e-file approved commercial software (approved by the Tax Department).

https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/efile/other-efile-options.htm

Tax professionals who have a valid EFIN and are authorized to e-file federal income, partnership or corporation tax returns can e-file with New York. You must use software that is approved by the Tax Department to file these returns. While there is no separate application process to participate in the New York e-file program for these taxes, some tax return preparers will need to register with the Tax Department prior to such filing.

https://tax.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/316/kw/e-file

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