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

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DiNapoli's Auditors Halt $25 Million in Suspicious Tax Refunds

April 7, 2016

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today his office stopped $25 million in questionable or fraudulent personal income tax refunds from being paid so far in 2016.

DiNapoli’s office paid out 4.5 million state refunds totaling $4.2 billion. Another 152,000 refunds totaling $134 million are expected to be paid in the coming days. The average state tax refund from the state is $840.

“Fighting refund fraud is an ongoing battle as people find new ways to cheat the system,” DiNapoli said. “While most taxpayers are honest, there are some filers and preparers looking to cheat their fellow New Yorkers by filing for refunds they are not entitled to. My office is stopping those suspicious refunds and ensuring that 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 $3.5 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