Department of Taxation and Finance

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NYS Comptroller


Department of Taxation and Finance
Personal Income Tax Refunds
(Issued: 06/07/2017)


The objective of our examination was to determine whether personal income tax refunds approved by the Department of Taxation and Finance (Department) for payment were appropriate and processed in accordance with applicable New York State tax laws and regulations. We examined refunds processed during the calendar year January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016.


During the period of our examination, the Department processed almost 7.6 million refunds totaling over $9.6 billion. From this population, we returned 12,335 refunds totaling almost $43.9 million to the Department for follow up evaluation and appropriate action.

Key Findings

We identified and returned to the Department 12,335 questionable refunds totaling about $43.9 million, as summarized in the following table:

Reason for Stopping Refunds Number Dollars
Taxpayer claimed ineligible refundable credits (e.g., fake or inflated number of dependents or understated income) 9,875  $  32,144,145
Tax preparer submitted returns with refundable credits based on incorrect information 1,468  4,803,844
Taxpayer failed to claim correct income 604  4,389,218
Other 235  2,154,774
Taxpayer claimed incorrect wages and withholding tax 98  180,448
Taxpayer had questionable itemized deductions 55  267,850
Total Refunds Stopped 12,335 $  43,940,279

For a complete copy of Report 2016-1A-001, click here


Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures

Phone: (518) 474-4868 Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Contracts and Expenditures
110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236