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How to request assistance

The Office of the Taxpayer Rights Advocate (OTRA) helps taxpayers who have tried all other reasonable avenues to reach a remedy, or when the tax problem creates undue economic harm.

The information below will help you:

  • understand the guidelines we use to evaluate which cases we accept, and
  • what application you should use if you decide to seek assistance

Case acceptance guidelines 

We follow these guidelines to identify cases eligible for OTRA assistance:

  • You have made a reasonable attempt to resolve your problem through the Department's established methods prior to contacting the Taxpayer Rights Advocate.
  • You believe that the tax laws, regulations or policies are being administered unfairly or incorrectly, or have impaired (or will impair) your rights.
  • You face a threat of immediate adverse action (e.g., seizure of an asset) for a debt you believe is not owed or where the action is, in your view, unwarranted, unfair, or illegal.
  • You are experiencing undue economic harm or are about to suffer undue economic harm.
  • You will suffer irreparable injury or long-term adverse impact if relief is not granted.
  • You believe that there has been an undue delay by the tax department in providing a response or resolution to your problem or inquiry.
  • Your situation represents a systemic flaw that may adversely impact other taxpayers.
  • The Taxpayer Rights Advocate determines that compelling public policy reasons warrant assistance to an individual or group of taxpayers.
  • You believe that the unique facts and circumstances of your case warrant assistance by the Taxpayer Rights Advocate.

Information you need to know about refund claims

The Office of the Taxpayer Rights Advocate can't accept refund status inquiries for any tax year unless there's been a potential undue delay in the processing of the claim. Contact our office only if it's been over four months since you filed your refund claim or provided additional documentation at our request to support your claim and you have inquired through the Department's established methods for refunds.

If it's been less than four months, you can check your income tax refund status online. For other tax refunds please call for information.

How to request information assistance

Submit your request by mail or fax

Form DTF-911, Request for Assistance from the Office of the Taxpayer Rights Advocate

Fax the completed Form DTF-911 to (518) 435-8532 or mail it to:

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
Office of the Taxpayer Rights Advocate
W. A. Harriman Campus, Building 9
Albany, New York 12227

To request assistance by telephone

(518) 530-HELP (4357)

Designate a representative

You can authorize someone, such as a tax preparer, to work with our department to receive your confidential tax information and, if you choose, make legally binding decisions on your behalf.  See Designate a representative for more information.

Updated: August 14, 2013