senate Bill S1234

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Creates the office of the taxpayer advocate

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to investigations and government operations
Jan 09, 2013 referred to investigations and government operations

Co-Sponsors

S1234 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
Tax Law
Laws Affected:
Add §§3014 & 3015, amd §170, Tax L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1529A
2009-2010: S1168

S1234 - Bill Texts

view summary

Creates the office of the taxpayer advocate; directs such office be in the control of the department of taxation and finance; outlines functions and duties of such office; creates mandatory reporting to the governor and legislative leaders.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1234

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to creating
the office of the taxpayer advocate

PURPOSE:
To create within the Department of Taxation and Finance the Office of
Taxpayer Advocate, which will assist taxpayers in resolving problems
with the department, identify areas in which taxpayers have problems,
and propose solutions to the practices and procedures of the
department.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The tax law is amended by adding two new sections 3014 and 3015.

Section 3014 creates an office to be known as the "office of the
taxpayer advocate" which will assist taxpayers in resolving problems
with the office, identify areas in which taxpayers have problems in
dealing with the department, recommend legislative action as may be
appropriate to resolve problems encountered by taxpayers, and to
preserve and promote the rights of the taxpayer. This taxpayer
advocate shall be appointed by the governor for a term of four years
and will report directly to the commissioner.

Section 3015 creates taxpayer assistance orders. The taxpayer advocate
may with or without a formal request from a taxpayer, issue a taxpayer
assistance order if the taxpayer is suffering or is about to suffer a
significant hardship as a result of the manner in which the department
administers the tax laws.

JUSTIFICATION:
This legislation will help ensure that state taxpayers are treated
professionally and fairly by the Department of Tax and Finance. This
office will assist taxpayers to resolve problems in a neutral fashion.
There are many difficulties that taxpayers endure in relation to the
tax process and getting their taxes filed. This legislation provides a
venue through which taxpayers can report their problems and have them
dealt with fairly and efficiently.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.1529 - Referred to Investigations & Government Op.
2010-11: S.1529 - Referred to Investigations & Government Op.
2009-10: S.1168 - Referred to Investigations & Government Op.
2007-08: S.2914 - Referred to Investigations & Government Op.
2005-06: S.1570 - Referred to Investigations & Government Op.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately, but no later than April 1 of the year
following enactment of this legislation.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1234

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER -- read twice and
  ordered  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on
  Investigations and Government Operations

AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to creating the office  of  the
  taxpayer advocate

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The tax law is amended by adding two new sections 3014  and
3015 to read as follows:
  S  3014.  OFFICE  OF  THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE. (A) THERE SHALL BE IN THE
DEPARTMENT AN OFFICE TO BE KNOWN AS THE "OFFICE OF  THE  TAXPAYER  ADVO-
CATE".  SUCH  OFFICE  SHALL BE UNDER THE SUPERVISION AND DIRECTION OF AN
OFFICIAL KNOWN AS THE "COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER  ADVO-
CATE".  THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE SHALL BE
APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR AND SHALL REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE COMMISSIONER.
THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE SHALL DEVOTE HIS
OR HER ENTIRE TIME TO THE DUTIES OF SUCH OFFICE.
  (B) NO PERSON SHALL BE APPOINTED AS THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE  OF
THE  TAXPAYER  ADVOCATE  UNLESS AT THE TIME OF SUCH PERSON'S APPOINTMENT
SUCH PERSON IS A RESIDENT OF THE  STATE  AND  IS  KNOWLEDGEABLE  ON  THE
SUBJECT  OF TAXATION AND IS SKILLFUL IN MATTERS PERTAINING THERETO. ONCE
APPOINTED, THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE SHALL
CONTINUE IN OFFICE UNTIL THE GOVERNOR'S  TERM  EXPIRES  AND  UNTIL  SUCH
GOVERNOR'S  SUCCESSOR  HAS BEEN APPOINTED AND HAS QUALIFIED. THE TERM OF
OFFICE SHALL BE AT THE PLEASURE OF THE GOVERNOR.
  (C) IN THE EVENT OF  A  VACANCY  CAUSED  BY  THE  DEATH,  RESIGNATION,
REMOVAL  OR DISABILITY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER
ADVOCATE, THE VACANCY SHALL BE FILLED BY THE GOVERNOR.
  (D) (1) THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE SHALL HAVE  THE  FOLLOWING
FUNCTIONS, POWERS, AND DUTIES:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00830-02-3

S. 1234                             2

  (I) TO ASSIST TAXPAYERS IN RESOLVING PROBLEMS WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (II)  TO  IDENTIFY  AREAS IN WHICH TAXPAYERS HAVE PROBLEMS IN DEALINGS
WITH THE DEPARTMENT;
  (III) TO PROPOSE SOLUTIONS, INCLUDING ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES TO  PRAC-
TICES AND PROCEDURES OF THE DEPARTMENT;
  (IV)  TO RECOMMEND LEGISLATIVE ACTION AS MAY BE APPROPRIATE TO RESOLVE
PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY TAXPAYERS;
  (V) TO PRESERVE AND PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF THE TAXPAYER;
  (VI) TO PROMOTE OPEN AND DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS; AND
  (VII) TO APPOINT SUCH OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES AS IT MAY REQUIRE FOR THE
PERFORMANCE OF ITS DUTIES.
  (2) THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE  OF  THE  TAXPAYER  ADVOCATE  SHALL
PREPARE  AN ANNUAL REPORT AS TO HIS OR HER ACTIVITIES. SUCH REPORT SHALL
BE SUBMITTED TO THE GOVERNOR, THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE
SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND THE COMMISSIONER NO LATER THAN THE  THIRTY-
FIRST OF DECEMBER NEXT SUCCEEDING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION AND
EVERY  DECEMBER  THIRTY-FIRST  THEREAFTER. ANY SUCH REPORT SHALL CONTAIN
FULL AND SUBSTANTIVE ANALYSIS, IN ADDITION TO  STATISTICAL  INFORMATION,
AND SHALL
  (I)  IDENTIFY  THE  INITIATIVES  THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF THE
TAXPAYER ADVOCATE HAS TAKEN  ON  IMPROVING  TAXPAYER  SERVICES  AND  THE
DEPARTMENT'S RESPONSIVENESS;
  (II)  CONTAIN  A SUMMARY OF AT LEAST FIFTEEN OF THE MOST SERIOUS PROB-
LEMS ENCOUNTERED BY TAXPAYERS, INCLUDING A DESCRIPTION OF THE NATURE  OF
SUCH PROBLEMS;
  (III) CONTAIN AN INVENTORY OF THE ITEMS DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPHS (I)
AND  (II)  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH  FOR  WHICH ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN AND THE
RESULT OF SUCH ACTION; AN INVENTORY  FOR  WHICH  ACTION  REMAINS  TO  BE
COMPLETED;  AND AN INVENTORY FOR WHICH NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN, AND THE
REASONS FOR THE INACTION;
  (IV) IDENTIFY ANY TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDER WHICH WAS NOT  HONORED  BY
THE  DEPARTMENT IN A TIMELY MANNER AS SPECIFIED UNDER SUBDIVISION (A) OF
SECTION THREE THOUSAND FIFTEEN OF THIS ARTICLE;
  (V) CONTAIN RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SUCH  ADMINISTRATIVE  AND  LEGISLATIVE
ACTION  AS MAY BE APPROPRIATE TO RESOLVE PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED BY TAXPAY-
ERS; AND
  (VI) INCLUDE SUCH OTHER INFORMATION AS THE COMMISSIONER OF THE  OFFICE
OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE MAY DEEM ADVISABLE.
  S 3015. TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDERS. (A) THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE
OF  THE  TAXPAYER  ADVOCATE MAY, WITH OR WITHOUT A FORMAL REQUEST FROM A
TAXPAYER, ISSUE A TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDER THAT SUSPENDS  OR  STAYS  AN
ACTION  OR PROPOSED ACTION BY THE DEPARTMENT IF, IN THE DETERMINATION OF
SUCH COMMISSIONER, THE TAXPAYER IS SUFFERING OR IS  ABOUT  TO  SUFFER  A
SIGNIFICANT  HARDSHIP  AS A RESULT OF THE MANNER IN WHICH THE DEPARTMENT
ADMINISTERS THE TAX LAWS.  A DETERMINATION BY  SUCH  COMMISSIONER  UNDER
THIS  SECTION  TO  ISSUE  OR TO NOT ISSUE A TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDER IS
FINAL AND CANNOT BE APPEALED TO ANY COURT.
  (B) A TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDER MAY REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO  RELEASE
PROPERTY  OF  THE  TAXPAYER  LEVIED ON, CEASE ANY ACTION OR REFRAIN FROM
TAKING ANY ACTION TO ENFORCE THE STATE TAX  LAWS  AGAINST  THE  TAXPAYER
UNTIL THE  ISSUE OR ISSUES GIVING RISE TO THE ORDER HAVE BEEN RESOLVED.
  (C)  THE  RUNNING  OF  THE  APPLICABLE  PERIOD OF LIMITATIONS FOR SUCH
DEPARTMENT ACTION SHALL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE  DATE  OF  THE  TAXPAYER'S
REQUEST FOR A TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE ORDER OR THE DATE THE ORDER IS ISSUED,
WHICHEVER IS EARLIER, UNTIL ONE OF THE FOLLOWING SHALL OCCUR:
  (1) THE EXPIRATION DATE OF THE ORDER.

S. 1234                             3

  (2)  IF  AN ORDER IS MODIFIED, THE EXPIRATION DATE OF THE MODIFICATION
ORDER.
  (3) IF AN ORDER IS RESCINDED, THE DATE OF THE RESCISSION ORDER.
  (D)  A  TAXPAYER  ASSISTANCE  ORDER  SHALL  NOT BE USED TO CONTEST THE
MERITS OF A TAX LIABILITY OR AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR INFORMAL PROTEST PROCE-
DURES OR ADMINISTRATIVE OR JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS FOR THE REVIEW OF A  TAX
ASSESSMENT OR COLLECTION ACTION OR DENIAL OF REFUND.
  S  2.  Subdivisions 1, 3 and 4 of section 170 of the tax law, subdivi-
sions 1 and 3 as amended by chapter 282 of the laws of 1986 and subdivi-
sion 4 as amended by chapter 283 of the laws of  1986,  are  amended  to
read as follows:
  1.  The  existing  department  of taxation and finance and its present
functions are continued. The head of  the  department  of  taxation  and
finance shall be the commissioner of taxation and finance who shall have
sole  charge of the administration of such department except with regard
to the administration of the division of tax appeals which shall be  the
sole  charge  of the tax appeals tribunal authorized by article forty of
this chapter AND THE OFFICE  OF  THE  TAXPAYER  ADVOCATE  AUTHORIZED  BY
SECTIONS  THREE  THOUSAND  FOURTEEN  AND  THREE THOUSAND FIFTEEN OF THIS
CHAPTER.  The commissioner of taxation and finance shall be appointed by
the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate and  shall
hold office as commissioner of taxation and finance until the end of the
term  of  the  governor by whom he was appointed and until his successor
has been appointed and has qualified.
  3. The commissioner of taxation and finance may establish  such  addi-
tional  divisions  and  bureaus as he may deem necessary. He may appoint
the heads of such divisions and bureaus and fix their duties and he  may
consolidate, alter or abolish any divisions or bureaus, except that such
commissioner  shall  have  no such authority or power with regard to the
division of tax appeals AND THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE.
  4. The commissioner of taxation and finance  may  appoint  and  remove
such  officers,  assistants and other employees as he may deem necessary
for the exercise of the powers and duties of the department, all of whom
shall be in the classified civil service unless  otherwise  provided  by
law; and he may prescribe their duties, and fix their compensation with-
in  the  amounts appropriated therefor. The commissioner of taxation and
finance may transfer officers or employees from their positions to other
positions in the department, or abolish or consolidate  such  positions.
He  shall have all powers necessary to perform the duties conferred upon
him regarding the state lottery authorized  by  article  thirty-four  of
this  chapter.  However,  the commissioner of taxation and finance shall
have no power to appoint or remove any personnel of the division of  tax
appeals OR OF THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE nor shall such commis-
sioner  have  any  power  or  authority with regard to the operation and
administration of such division OR OFFICE including any power or author-
ity over such division's OR  OFFICE'S  budget.  The  commissioner  shall
furnish to the director of the division of the budget the itemized esti-
mates  of  the  financial  needs  of the division of tax appeals AND THE
OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE prepared by the tax appeals tribunal AND
THE OFFICE OF THE TAXPAYER ADVOCATE. Such itemized estimates may not  be
revised or altered in any manner by the commissioner.
  S  3.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
section 3015 of the tax law, as added by section one of this  act  shall
not  take effect until the later of April first next succeeding the date
on which it shall have become a law, or the latest  date  on  which  any
state  appropriations  relating  to  the operations of the department of

S. 1234                             4

taxation and finance for the state fiscal year commencing on such  April
first, becomes law; provided, however, that the commissioner of taxation
and finance shall take all steps necessary to promulgate rules and regu-
lations  necessary to achieve the intent and purposes of this act and to
implement this act prior to such April first  so  that  such  rules  and
regulations  shall  be  effective  on the effective date of such section
3015 of the tax law; provided, further, that the commissioner  of  taxa-
tion  and  finance shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission
upon the occurrence of the enactment of the legislation provided for  in
section  one  of  this  act in order that the commission may maintain an
accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws
of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating  the  provisions
of  section  44  of  the  legislative law and section 70-b of the public
officers law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.