File a complaint about a tax return preparer
The Tax Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility handles complaints regarding tax return preparer misconduct. These complaints provide invaluable information to the department’s enforcement efforts.
Resolving concerns or problems
You may be able to resolve common misunderstandings relating to the professional tax preparation services provided—or the quality or timeliness of those services—through direct and open communication with your preparer. If you cannot resolve a problem, and you believe your preparer violated New York State’s tax preparer regulations, we urge you to file a complaint with our office.
The most common complaints occur when:
- a taxpayer does not receive their refund;
- a taxpayer does not receive a copy of their return;
- there are false deductions or expenses reported on the return; or
- there is income reported on the return that the taxpayer did not earn.
When to complete a claim form
Follow these guidelines when submitting a complaint:
- Only submit a complaint form to report tax return preparer misconduct.
- Do not submit a complaint form to verify your refund status or to contact the Office of Professional Responsibility about an unrelated tax matter.
Understanding our authority regarding complaints
You are ultimately responsible for the information reported on your tax return and any amounts you owe. It is important that you review your return carefully before the return is filed.
In most cases, we cannot effectively investigate cases without personal contact information. If you submit your complaint anonymously, we will be unable to verify the information in the complaint and contact you for additional information.
The Office of Professional Responsibility:
- will review complaints in accordance with New York State’s tax preparer regulations (20 NYCRR Part 2600).
- does not have the authority to regulate Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), Public Accountants (PAs), IRS enrolled agents, attorneys or their employees. If you have a complaint about a tax professional who is not required to register with New York State, contact the appropriate licensing agency. For additional information, see Complaints about a licensed professional.
- is limited to disciplining or recommending discipline when a violation of the tax preparer regulations has occurred. In addition to filing a complaint with us, you may also file a separate civil action against your preparer. Any disciplinary action we take is subject to tax secrecy provisions of the Tax Law and is not made available to the public.
- does not have authority to negotiate fees charged by registered tax return preparers. We recommend that you request a written estimate of all fees before any tax preparation services are provided.
- cannot assist you with issues regarding any third-party refund products such as Refund Anticipation Loans (refund advances) or Refund Anticipation Checks (refund transfers). Your tax preparer must provide you with a copy of a disclosure agreement detailing any fees associated with using the third-party refund product. It is important to review the disclosure agreement carefully so that you understand how you will receive any refund amounts.
File a complaint
If you're aware of a tax preparer who has or is engaged in illegal or improper conduct, file a tax preparer complaint. The Tax Department will review your complaint promptly and, where appropriate, take corrective action, which may include sanctions.
You can notify us:
- online using our Tax Preparer Complaint service, or
- by phone at 518-530-HELP (select option #2).