Friday, April 20, 2012
SENATOR YOUNG: SENATE PASSES LEGISLATION TO QUICKEN PAYMENT OF INCOME TAX REFUNDS, SIMPLIFY STAR FILINGS
ALBANY – Senator Cathy Young (R,C,I – Olean) announced the Senate passed two pieces of legislation to benefit taxpayers.
The first bill aims to expedite payment of income tax refunds, and requires the state to pay tax refunds within 30 days of the receipt of a taxpayer’s return, unless there is a discrepancy in the return.
“Our taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned money refunded quickly. In years past, the Department of Taxation and Finance held tax returns from individuals requesting refunds for as long as two months after the date of filing. Unless there’s a reason to withhold it, anyone who files their returns by the deadline should receive their refunds in a timely fashion,” said Senator Young.
If the state discovers a inconsistency in a taxpayer’s return, it must provide written notice to the individual and a date when the discrepancy would be resolved. If the state fails to take these steps, it would be required to pay interest on the refund to the taxpayer.
“This legislation only increases the state’s accountability to our residents by determining a reasonable time frame for returning refunds to the taxpayers. It’s also an important step in revitalizing our economy and encouraging growth,” Senator Young said.
A second bill passed by the Senate would make it easier for senior citizens to file for STAR property tax relief.
“This is great news for seniors, who should not be burdened by a long, complicated process to save money. The Senate Majority and I work hard to reduce unnecessary mandates on local governments that contribute to higher property taxes, and I am pleased this legislation passed. It not only saves time and confusion, it ensures our senior citizens’ access to a critical program while ensuring their privacy is protected,” Senator Young added.
Under the new bill, the new STAR form would be available to senior citizens whose income or living situations have not changed since the prior year, and who don’t participate in the automatic Income Verification Program that is already offered under STAR.
Both bills have been sent to the Assembly.