Declaration of taxpayer rights
Protection of your rights


Professional and courteous service

You are entitled to receive fair, courteous, and professional treatment.
If you believe that a Tax Department employee or representative has not
treated you accordingly, please contact that employee’s supervisor or call
1 800 CALL TAX ( 1 800 225-5829).
Representation When contacting the Tax Department regarding your tax return or any
notices received from us, you may choose to represent yourself or, with
proper written authorization, such as a power of attorney, have someone
represent you. Someone may accompany you at an interview. You may
make sound recordings of any interviews with a Tax Department
employee, provided that you notify us of your intentions in advance.


Resolving a problem/filing a complaint

If you have a tax problem which you have repeatedly attempted to
resolve and you have been unable to do so, or if for any reason you have
a complaint about the Tax Department, call 1 800 CALL TAX (1 800
225-5829). Our representatives will, depending upon the nature of your
complaint, either give you the address and telephone number of the
problem resolution officer in your area, or refer your complaint for
further investigation and analysis.


Audits, appeals, collections, and refunds


Audits You are responsible for paying only the correct amount of tax due under
the law - no more, no less. If we inquire about your return by mail or
select it for an audit, we are not suggesting that you are dishonest. The
inquiry or audit may or may not result in additional tax; it may result in
no change in tax due, or you may receive a refund.
Audits by mail We handle many audits and inquiries by mail. We will send you a letter
requesting either more information or an explanation of why we believe
a change to your return may be needed. You will have a reasonable
period of time to give us the requested information or explanation. If we
determine that additional tax is due, we will send you a statement
explaining the proposed changes to your tax return.
The statement will have an address and telephone number for you to
contact us if you have any questions. If you do not agree with the
proposed changes, you can appeal them.
Audits at your site If we notify you that we will conduct an audit by a personal interview, we
will contact you in advance to give you time to assemble your records.
If additional tax is due at the end of the audit, the auditor will provide
you with a statement explaining the proposed changes to your tax return.
If you do not agree with the proposed changes, you can appeal them.
Publication 131, Your Rights and Obligations Under the Tax Law, gives
you more information about the rules and procedures of an audit.
Appeals If you do not agree with an action taken by the Tax Department (such as
the issuance of a tax deficiency/determination, the denial of a refund
claim, or the denial or revocation of a license, registration or exempt
organization status), you have the right to appeal the action. Most
differences can be resolved without expensive and time-consuming court
proceedings. Publication 131, Your Rights and Obligations Under the
Tax Law, explains how to appeal the action. In some instances, you may
be able to recover a portion of your administrative and litigation costs if
a court finds that our position in an action was largely unjustified.
However, you will not be eligible to recover these costs unless you have
tried to resolve your case administratively first, and you have given us all
the information necessary to resolve your case.
Collections Publication 125, The Collection Process, explains some of the possible
consequences if you fail to pay an assessed tax liability. After you have
exhausted your rights to appeal your liability for tax in the Tax
Department, the Division of Tax Appeals, and the courts, or if you fail to
request an appeal within the time period required by law, the liability
becomes fixed. Collection of the liability is the responsibility of the Tax
Compliance Division, the collection unit of the Tax Department.
Publication 125 contains information on how to make arrangements to
pay your tax bill if you are unable to pay the entire amount when it is
due. It also explains what will happen if you make no effort to pay the
bill.


Relief from liability as an innocent spouse

If you file a joint return, both you and your spouse are generally
responsible for the tax and any interest or penalties due on the return.
This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may
have to pay it. However, you may qualify for relief from liability for tax
on a joint return if 1) there is an understatement of tax because your
spouse omitted income or claimed false deductions or credits, 2) you are
divorced, separated, or no longer living with your spouse, or 3) given all
the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the
tax. For more information, see Form IT-285, Request for Innocent
Spouse Relief (and Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief) and its
instructions.


Refund of nonobligated spouse

If you want to disclaim your spouse’s defaulted student loan, past-due
child or spousal support or a past-due legally enforceable debt owed to
a New York State agency, because you do not want to apply your part of
a joint income tax refund or refundable credit to a debt owed solely by
your spouse, use Form IT-280, Nonobligated Spouse Allocation.
Publication 38 (2/00)
Form IT-280 must be completed and attached to the front of your original
return when filed, or to Forms IT-215, Claim for Earned Income Credit,
IT-216, Claim for Child and Dependent Care Credit, or IT-217, Claim
for Farmer’s School Tax Credit, if any of these credit forms are filed
alone, because you did not claim the credit(s) when you filed your return.
However, you will be notified if your refund is applied against any of the
above mentioned debts of your spouse and you did not attach Form IT-
280 to your return. You will then have ten days from the date of
notification to file Form IT-280.
Refunds You may file a claim for refund if you believe that you paid too much
tax. While the actual time period to apply for a refund varies by tax
type, as a general rule you must file a claim for refund within three
years of the date your original return was due or filed, or within two
years of the date the tax was paid, whichever is later. Contact us at the
telephone numbers listed at the end of this publication for help in
identifying and obtaining copies of the appropriate forms to file a
claim for refund.
Generally, the law provides for interest on your refund if we do not
pay it within a specified period of time from the date you filed your
return or claim for refund. For example, interest will be paid on your
personal income tax refund if we do not pay it within 45 days after the
due date of your return or the date you filed, whichever is later. This
time period varies by tax type. Publication 131, Your Rights and
Obligations Under the Tax Law, has more information on refunds.