Senate Passes Bills to Help Taxpayers

On New York State’s tax filing deadline, the state Senate today passed legislation that would expedite payment of income tax refunds and simplify STAR property tax relief filings for senior citizens.

Bill S.2631 ensures prompt payment of a state income tax refund. Traditionally, the state Department of Taxation and Finance has held returns requesting refunds for up to two months, starting from when taxpayers file their return to when they may actually see the refund.

This legislation requires the state to pay tax refunds within 30 days of the receipt of a taxpayer’s return, unless there is a discrepancy in the return. In those cases, the state would provide written notice to the taxpayer and a date when the discrepancy would be resolved. If the state fails to take these steps, it would be liable to pay interest on the refund to the taxpayer.

Bill S.1920 would simplify the renewal process senior citizens follow when applying for the school tax relief exemption. The measure allows senior citizens previously approved for STAR exemptions and who have elected not to participate in the income verification program to file a simplified renewal application annually.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly.