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State helps file taxes in 79 languages

ALBANY (AP) — New York’s free language interpretation program for filing taxes is humming less than two years after the state created it.

At the end of the income tax filing season in April, more than 42,000 taxpayers had called the state Department of Taxation and Finance’s Taxpayer Information Center and received assistance in 79 languages.

The most common languages were Spanish with 31,266 calls, Mandarin with 3,842, and Russian with 3,020. That represents 90 percent of the total. Calls involving 60 other languages totaled about one percent.

The Language Access Program was launched in October 2012, and there’s been a 56 percent increase in calls over the past year.