Why Is My NYS Tax Refund Under Review

Allison Martin
checking invoice

Did you receive a notice in the mail from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance stating your tax return was under review? If so, you should respond as quickly as possible to ensure you receive your refund in a prompt manner.

Why Your Return Is Under Review

Before taking any action, it is important to understand why your return is under review. According to their website, the department wants to ensure the following information was reported accurately:

  • Income: Wages and withholding, self-employment income

  • Expenses: Self-employment expenses

  • Itemized deductions

  • Children and dependents: Identifying information, dependent care expenses

  • College: Tuition-related expenses

  • Real estate: Rental income and expenses

  • Federal adjustments to income

A notice of review does not necessarily mean you will be subject to a thorough audit or inaccuracies exist on the body of your return.

Responding to the Written Notice

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance suggests submitting the requested documentation using the online portal so the examiners can move forward with the processing of your return and refund (if applicable).

You may need to have the following information on file before responding to a written notice:

Category Documentation
Income Form W2s, 1099s, and bank statements
Expenses (self-employment)

Profit and loss statement, expense ledger and corresponding receipts

Itemized deductions Any statements that correspond with items claimed as itemized deductions
Children and dependents Statement from childcare or dependent care facility indicating the amount of funds expended for the tax year
College 1098Ts and receipts for tuition related fees and expenses paid out of pocket
Real estate Rental contracts, bank statements, expense ledger and corresponding receipts
Federal adjustments to income Official statement(s) from the IRS

Audits

If your return goes through a formal review before your refund is processed, that doesn't necessarily mean you will be subject to an audit. According to The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's website, your chances may be increased if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Understate income or sales

  • Claim an excessive amount of credits

  • File returns that are fraudulent or riddled with errors

  • Major discrepancies exist between the contents of the return and information received from third parties

  • Abuse tax exemption certificates

Time Frame

The official review may take up to 120 days to complete, according to the website. Feel free to reach out by calling 518-457-5434 if over 120 days have passed, and you still haven't received a refund or official correspondence regarding its status.

If Your Return Is Selected for Review

Although dealing with a review from the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance can be mentally draining, it is important to comply with their demands in a prompt manner. Refer the list of documents mentioned earlier to grasp an idea of what they may be looking for in each category and be prepared to submit copies sooner than later. Otherwise, the review could take much longer than anticipated.

Why Is My NYS Tax Refund Under Review