DiNapoli: $16.4 Million in Dubious Tax Refunds Blocked

April 16, 2012 Updated Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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DiNapoli: $16.4 Million in Dubious Tax Refunds Blocked

April 16, 2012 Updated Apr 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM EDT

(WKBW release) The New York State Comptroller’s office has halted $16.4 million in questionable personal income tax refunds after finding 5,903 improper filings among those who’ve filed so far this year, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced Monday.

According to a news release:

DiNapoli's office audited and approved 4.7 million refund requests totaling $4.1 billion in 2012. Another 406,000 refund requests totaling $382 million are expected to be paid in the coming days.

“While most taxpayers play by the rules, these unscrupulous filers claimed children they don’t have, listed fictitious day care expenses or used other schemes to cheat their fellow New Yorkers,” DiNapoli said.  “Through my office’s efforts, we will ensure that only legitimate refunds are paid.”

DiNapoli’s office audits all New York State bills prior to payment, including personal income tax refunds. The majority of questionable returns were filed by taxpayers who claimed credits for ineligible child care or credits allowed only for low-income households. A significant number – 23 percent – were linked to dishonest tax preparers filing false tax returns.

Questionable personal income tax refund requests stopped to date include (reason for stopping tax refund,   number of refunds,  dollar value of refunds):

Taxpayer claiming ineligible refundable credits (e.g. fake or inflated number of dependents or understated income)     3,397    $8,768,821
Tax preparer submitted returns claiming ineligible refundable credits     1,362    2,975,724
Taxpayer with questionable social security numbers     626    1,732,882
Taxpayer claiming incorrect wages and withholding     101    992,418
Taxpayer with questionable itemized deductions     103    617,916
Taxpayer failed to claim correct New York City income     108    256,163
Taxpayer failed to claim correct New York State income     23    210,961
Other     183    804,246
Total Refunds Stopped     5,903    $16,359,131