Main Banner

NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli's Auditors Halt $21.3 Million in Suspicious 2016 Tax Refunds

April 17, 2017

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today his office stopped $21.3 million in questionable or fraudulent personal income tax refunds from being paid so far in 2017.

DiNapoli's office paid out 4.6 million state refunds totaling $4.4 billion to date. Another 471,000 refunds totaling $466 million are expected to be paid in the coming days.

"My auditors are committed to safeguarding the funds of honest New Yorkers," DiNapoli said. "We'll stay one step ahead of the schemes used by tax cheats, and look to ensure only legitimate refunds are paid."

DiNapoli's office audits New York state personal income tax refunds prior to payment. The Comptroller's auditors work cooperatively with the Department of Taxation and Finance to stop questionable refunds and to ensure timely payment of legitimate refunds. DiNapoli's auditors perform their review after the department completes its own tax return audit.

The majority of questionable refunds stopped were for returns filed by taxpayers who claimed refundable credits based on incorrect information such as fake or inflated dependents or understated income. Auditors also stopped over $2.2 million in refunds that were linked to unscrupulous tax preparers filing false returns. Other popular scams include using questionable social security numbers and intentionally misstating deductions.

For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 130,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created to promote transparency in government and provide taxpayers with better access to financial data.