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Department of Taxation and Finance

Common Tax Season Myths—Debunked! NYS Tax Department refutes fake news with facts

For Release: Immediate,

For press inquiries only, contact: James Gazzale, 518-457-7377

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today set the record straight to counter common tax season myths about how tax returns are processed and refunds issued. Some New York taxpayers subscribe to a variety of tax-related misconceptions, including ones about how to receive refunds faster. 

“We want to set the record straight on several common myths we hear each year during tax season,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “Calling us to check your refund status won’t get it into your bank account any faster; Friday isn’t the only day during the week that we directly deposit refunds; and if you’ve been audited before, it doesn’t mean we’re scrutinizing your return more than anyone else’s. We debunk these myths at every opportunity.” 
Myth: The only way to get the most up-to-date information on my tax refund is to call the NYS Tax Department.

Fact: The Tax Department’s voice response system (518-457-5149) or online tool provides the latest information about your refund. It's the fastest way to check your refund status and also the most convenient—it's available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides the same information available to our phone representatives—only without the wait!

You can also easily find out when your refund will be issued by signing up for Tax Department email alerts at (select subscribe at the bottom of the page).

Myth: Calling the NYS Tax Department will ultimately speed up my refund. 
Fact: Our call center reps can’t expedite the processing of your tax refund. However, the voice response system, as well as the online tool will direct you to contact a call center representative if your refund is delayed for a specific reason.

Myth: I already received my tax refund from the IRS, but haven’t yet received my New York State refund. New York State must be less efficient than the IRS.

Fact: We systematically review all 10 million income tax returns using award-winning technology to detect return errors and to stop questionable returns. This analytics-driven system helps protect you and New York State from tax fraud and identity theft.

Myth: New York State only issues directly deposited refunds on Fridays.

Fact: The Tax Department schedules direct deposit dates throughout the week, not only on Fridays. Once your return and refund have been approved, a payment date is scheduled. Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your refund.

Myth: My tax return was audited last year and again this year. I’m being targeted. 
Fact: Each tax return is individually evaluated for review using state-of-the-art audit selection tools. If your return is set aside for additional review, the best way to respond is to provide documentation to support what you claim on the return. The Tax Department wants you to receive all the credits and deductions you deserve, including the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child and Dependent Care Credit, but it’s crucial that you have the supporting documents available to prove your eligibility. You can also review common filing errors here.