ALBANY — State investigators have already blocked $ 21.3 million in fraudulent income tax refunds from being paid so far this year, Controller Thomas DiNapoli revealed Monday.
The bulk of the bogus returns were filed by taxpayers who tried to claim tax credits based on false information such as inflated numbers of dependents or understated income, DiNapoli’s office reported.
Auditors also stopped over $ 2.2 million in refunds from tax preparers who filed completely false returns.
“We’ll stay one step ahead of the schemes used by tax cheats, and look to ensure only legitimate refunds are paid,” DiNapoli said.
DiNapoli’s office audits New York personal income tax refunds after the Department of Taxation and Finance has finished processing the returns.
Once a refund is rejected by DiNapoli’s auditors, the case is returned to Department of Taxation and Finance for further investigation and possible prosecution.
As Tuesday’s tax deadline neared, DiNapoli’s auditors have allowed 4.6 million refunds to taxpayers so far this season, totaling $ 4.4 billion.
An additional $ 466 million in refunds — about 471,000 individual refunds — are expected to be processed in the coming days, DiNapoli said.