Stopping Questionable Refund Payments Expected to Save New Yorkers $480 Million
New York State’s Cutting-Edge Technology Detects Latest Tactics Used by Scammers
Increase from 239,000 Suspicious Claims Stopped during 2016 Filing Season
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance stopped more than 330,000 suspicious refund claims during this year’s income tax season. Based on results from previous years, the Tax Department projects that stopping these refunds will save New York State and its taxpayers about $480 million this year—a savings increase of nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year.
"We remain vigilant in our efforts to crack down on fraudsters who try and game the system and cheat hard-working New Yorkers of taxpayer funds used for vital services," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to use state-of-the-art technology to detect and prevent criminal tax schemes and refund scams."
The system’s predictive analytics and rules sift billions of data points to determine when to process a refund request or return and when it requires greater scrutiny. It can detect simple miscalculations and honest mistakes, as well as falsified claims of inflated dependents, deductions, or business expenses.
New York State Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion said, "Our award-winning analytics system allows us to review each of the 10 million personal income tax returns as we receive them to stop suspicious returns and efficiently process the rest. The system can be quickly adjusted in response to new suspicious filing patterns."
By analyzing each income tax return that comes in, and its related data, the Tax Department stays ahead of emerging fraud schemes and refund scams. For example, this filing season the Tax Department validated returns for more than 7,000 employees from dozens of businesses that were victimized by scammers in an elaborate scheme to steal payroll data. Since its inception in 2003, the Tax Department’s business analytics program has saved New York State taxpayers $4 billion and led to the arrest and prosecution of many paid tax preparers accused of filing fraudulent returns.
Taxpayers who suspect that an individual or business is committing tax fraud can confidentially report it online or by phone at 518-457-0578.
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