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Department of Taxation and Finance

Your refund was adjusted

If we made one or more adjustments to your personal income tax return:

  • you may receive a refund amount that’s different than what you claimed on your return, and
  • you will receive an account adjustment notice (Form DTF-160 or Form DTF-161) explaining the adjustment.

You should compare your income tax return to the Explanation section of the notice to best understand the adjustment.

If you disagree with the adjustment, you can respond with documentation that supports what you claimed on your return.

General refund information

Refund interest for 2019 tax returns filed by July 15, 2020.

With the change in due date for tax returns and payments from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, there was an adjustment needed to the way refund interest will be calculated for the 2019 tax returns that were filed by July 15, 2020. As a result, the Tax Department has not been paying interest when refund checks for the 2019 tax returns are issued. Instead, for those refunds where interest is due, a separate check for interest will be issued after the updated computation is complete.

If your refund is:

  • not issued within 45 days of the due date or from the date you filed (whichever is later), interest will be paid from that date.
  • issued within 45 days of the due date or from the date you filed (whichever is later), you will not receive interest.

Special rules: Interest will not be paid to you on the portion of your refund that is attributed to credits such as the real property tax credit, earned income credit, child or dependent care credit, college tuition credit, farmers' school tax credit, New York City school tax credit, or if your return cannot be processed.

If you want to respond

If you received an adjustment notice, you can respond online or by mail with supporting documentation. To respond online:

  1. Gather the documents that support your claim.
  2. Make digital copies of your documents. Hint: You can use your smartphone to take and share a clear and legible picture.
  3. Log in to (or create) your Online Services account.
  4. Select the ≡ Services menu in the upper left-hand corner of your Account Summary homepage.
  5. Select Respond to department notice from the expanded menu.
  6. On the first screen, under the Notice type section, select the option I received a notice about my refund.
  7. From the drop-down menu, select the form number of your letter. (You can find the form number in the bottom left-hand corner of your letter.)

To respond by mail:

  1. Follow the mailing instructions on your adjustment notice.
  2. Send us any documents that support your claim.

If you are entitled to an additional refund amount, we will issue you a separate check for that amount.

Note: If you received Form DTF-32, Notice to Owner of an Uncashed Check, you cannot respond online; see Lost, stolen, destroyed, and uncashed checks.

If you received a letter other than an account adjustment notice (Form DTF-160 or Form DTF-161), see Respond to a letter requesting additional information to learn what to include in your response.

If you already responded

If you responded to a letter about an adjusted refund, it may take several months to process your response; it takes more time to review a complicated return or one that has missing or inaccurate information. We process responses in the order we receive them.

If you marked filing status 2 (Married filing joint return) and you do not want to apply your part of the refund to your spouse's debt because you are not liable for it:

If you did not file Form IT-280 with your original income tax return, you cannot file an amended return to disclaim your spouse's debt. However, we will notify you if we apply your refund to your spouse's debt. You will have 10 days from the date of notification to file Form IT-280. 

We may apply your money to debt you owe to:

  • the Tax Department,
  • another New York State agency (such as the Office of Temporary Disability Assistance),
  • the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or
  • tax debt for another state.

For more information on specific programs that apply your refund to outstanding debts, see Tax refund offset programs.

If you have an outstanding New York State tax debt, and the amount applied does not pay your debt in full, you must resolve your remaining balance. If you do not resolve your balance, we may proceed with collection action.

Request electronic communications from the department

The best way to communicate with the Tax Department about your return is to open an Online Services account and request electronic communications for both Bills and Related Notices and Other Notifications. To ensure that you receive future communications in the Message Center of your Online Services Account Summary homepage, create your account now, before filing your next return. 

Log in or create an account

Log in   create account 

Forgot your username or password?

Once you've logged in to your Online Services account:

  1. Select your name in the upper right-hand corner of your Account Summary homepage.
  2. Select Preferences, then select Electronic communications from the expanded menu.

    Image of log in screen

    Filing Information sample form:
    Enter your company's information:
    Field 1: Taxpayer ID
    Field 2: Legal Name
    Field 3: Street Address
    Field 4: City
    Field 5: State/Province
    Field 6: Zip/Postal Code
    Field 7: Filing Method (Note: Must be the same as selected on questionnaire.) Option 1: Gross Weight Method Option 2: Unloaded Weight Method
    Field 8: Number of Vehicle Records to Report

  3. Choose the Electronic notification options you want to receive email about. To receive a notification when your refund is issued and other electronic communications about your income tax refund, select both options.

    Image of electronic notification screen

    Header cel: Electronic notification options
    Bills and Related Notices-Get emails about your bills.
    Other notifications-Get emails about refunds, filings, payments, account adjustments, etc.
    Header cell: Receive email
    Check box
    Check box

  4. Read the Acknowledgement section.
  5. Select Save.