Local tax preparers: Could be "nightmare" year to file taxes in NYS

Dispute between NYS and the federal government over tax reform will make filing more complicated
Posted at 6:24 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-11 08:45:08-05

This will be the first year that people file their taxes under the new federal tax reform laws.

Those laws were meant to make filing more simple, but local tax preparers say it will make things even more complicated for New York State residents.

The reason: New York State does not accept federal tax reform, and instead, is using tax rules that don't match with the new federal rules.

"The federal government is going by 2018 tax laws. New York State is going by 2017 tax laws," explained Christopher Fabian, vice president of EG Tax in Tonawanda.

In years past, tax filers could copy a lot of the information on their federal returns over to their NYS returns.

Now, differences in federal and state deduction rules will require separate calculations and data on the NYS forms.

The partial federal government shutdown is also adding to the tax confusion.

"There is no correspondence with the IRS right now," added Fabian.

The Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) told 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly that it is still waiting for the proper materials from the IRS so it can begin filing returns on January 26th.

E. Greenard Poles, BFNC program director, said the "situation" could delay the organization's ability to properly complete federal tax forms and get them filed - which could then result in refund delays for those counting on the money.

BFNC processes thousands of tax returns each year for income-eligible individuals.

Executive Director Ricardo Herrera fears those delays could force some low-income families to seek advance payments on their refunds from loan sharks who require a large percentage of the refund.

"I have a bad feeling that this is going to result in a whole lot of re-adjustments and we are going to be needed year-round," said Herrera.

In spite of the new rules and regulations, there is still pressure to make sure your returns are correct because NYS will hold on to your refund if it thinks your tax return should be audited.

"I foresee a lot of audits from NYS," added Christopher Fabian.

Both EG Tax and the BFNC recommended that do-it-yourself tax filers should consider consulting with an expert this year because things are so confusing.

Ed Reilly has more about this situation in the attached report.


Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers