Consumer Alert: Avoid Deceptive Tax Collection Notices
Department of Financial Services to Investigate Taxpayer Complaints
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today warned New Yorkers to beware of tax collection letters that appear to be government notices, but are actually misleading solicitations from private entities. The Governor has directed the New York State Department of Financial Services to investigate complaints by taxpayers on suspected scams.
“This tax season, New Yorkers should be wary of misleading collection notices posing as official government letters used by private entities to prey on taxpayers,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge anyone who thinks they have received one of these deceptive notices to call the State Tax Department or Department of Financial Services so we can investigate and put an end to these schemes.”
The deceptive notices are typically sent to taxpayers with outstanding tax debt and include threatening phrases such as “state tax warrant notice” and “bank accounts and asset seizure pending.”
To view samples of two notices, go to: www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/Notice-2.pdf.
Only when recipients call the toll-free number on the letter do they realize it is not from the State Tax Department, but rather a business claiming to be able to remove the debt for a fraction of the amount owed.
Official State tax notices always include the letterhead of the “New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.” In addition, when calling the Tax Department, representatives will be able to identify themselves and provide an identification number.
Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of this type of scam should contact the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Consumer Help Line at 1-800-342-3736 and DFS will investigate those complaints.
Assistance for taxpayers with outstanding tax debt
Taxpayers should work directly with the State Tax Department to pay their tax bills. Options are available for taxpayers who are unable to pay in full:
· The Department works one-on-one with taxpayers to create installment payment agreements.
· Taxpayers with serious financial problems may be eligible to reduce the amount of tax owed through the Offer in Compromise program.
For more information
· Department of Taxation and Finance - 518-457-5181
· Department of Financial Services - 1-800-342-3736