This year’s NYU Tax Controversy Forum brought together a distinguished panel to discuss the latest issues involving New York State’s civil tax enforcement. Accountants and attorneys advising clients with tax problems should be aware of some key developments, including the following:NYU

  • Driver’s license suspension. New York State can suspend a New York Driver’s License if the driver owes $10,000 or more in tax, penalty, and interest and there is no collection resolution in place (such as an Installment Payment Agreement, Income Execution, or Offer-in-Compromise). To date, 85,000 New Yorker’s have been notified that their licenses are at risk; while 22,000 have had their license suspended. The program has brought in over $666 million in back taxes to date.
  • Private collection agencies. Both the IRS and New York State are using outside collection agencies to go after delinquent taxpayers. The IRS has contracted with 4 agencies, while New York has contracted with one agency thus far.
  • New York self-service options. Generally, New York allows taxpayers to request an Installment Payment Agreement (IPA) online or on the phone. In order to use these options, the taxpayer must be current on their tax filings, have no prior IPA defaults, no open collections, bankruptcy or protest cases. Taxpayers can add direct payment information. The balances must be less than $20,000 with a repayment term of 36 months or less.
  • Wage garnishment. The law allowing New York State to garnish wages on individual debtors without filing a public tax warrant has been extended until April 1, 2020.
  • Identify theft. This year’s filing season had fewer cases of identity theft than prior years.

Thanks to the panelists Jack Trachtenberg, Esq., Principal, Deloitte Tax, Barbara T. Kaplan, Esq., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, Argi O’Leary, Esq., Deputy Commissioner, Civil Enforcement Division, NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, Jennifer Ann Wynne, Esq., Associate, Tenenbaum Law, P.C., Karen Tenenbaum, Esq., Partner, Tenenbaum Law, P.C. for sharing their insights and experience.