Main Menu Main Content
Noonan’s Notes Blog

About This Blog

Noonan’s Notes Blog is written by a team of Hodgson Russ tax attorneys led by the blog’s namesake, Tim Noonan. Noonan’s Notes Blog regularly provides analysis of and commentary on developments in the world of New York and multistate tax law. Noonan's Notes Blog is a winner of CreditDonkey's Best Tax Blogs Award 2017.

Contributors

Timothy Noonan 
Ariele Doolittle
Joseph Endres
Daniel Kelly
Elizabeth Pascal 
Craig Reilly
Andrew Wright 

New York State Division of Tax Appeals Issues Annual Report

By on

On June 27, 2018, the New York State Division of Tax Appeals and the Tax Appeals Tribunal (collectively “DTA”) sent its Annual Report for the Fiscal Year 2017--2018 to the Governor and to the heads of the Senate and Assembly. Each year, these reports contain some new and noteworthy figures. This year’s highlights include:

1. A 29 percent drop in the number of Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Determinations issued in the 2017-2018 fiscal year. This drop bucks a steady trend of year-over-year growth in the number of ALJ determinations. In fact, prior to this year’s statistics, the number of ALJ determinations had increased nearly three-fold from Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

 So why this drop after such a steady growth spurt? There are several possible reasons for the change. There were far fewer petitions filed last year as compared to any of the four preceding years. Fewer petitions means fewer cases to be heard. We also understand there was a drop in the number of active ALJs for much of the year. Additionally, 43 percent of the cases in which hearing notices were issued were settled.

Administrative Law Judge Determinations

 

Fiscal 2017-18

Fiscal 2016-17

Fiscal 2015-16

Fiscal 2014-15

 
 

#

%

#

%

#

%

#

%

 

Sustained

90

88%

122

85%

106

81%

93   

85%

 

Canceled

6

6%

7

5%

15  

11%

8   

7.5%

 

Modified

6

6%

15

10%

10  

8%

8  

7.5%

 

Total

102

100%

144

100%

131

100%

109  

100%

 

Within the determinations that were issued, the one statistic that did increase this past fiscal year was the Tax Department’s rate of “wins,” if only by 3%. We’re out the change that!

2. The Tax Appeals Tribunal, which is the state’s three-member panel authorized to review ALJ determinations on appeal, issued one less decision compared to the prior fiscal year. So not much change there. Despite issuing one less decision, the Tribunal’s ending inventory did decrease by one case to 79 pending matters. Are we sure someone’s checking the math on this?

Tribunal Decisions

 

Fiscal 2017-18

Fiscal 2016-17

Fiscal 2015-16

Fiscal 2014--15

 
 

#

%

#

%

#

%

#

%

 

Sustained

35

70%

37

72%

40 

63%

19  

70%

 

Canceled

4

8%

1

2%

2

3%

7%

 

Modified

8

16%

6

12%

14

22%

5   

19%

 

Remanded

3

6%

7

14%

8

12%

1

4%

 

Total

50

100%

51

100%

64

100%

24

100%

 

The Tribunal, as is standard in most years, upheld ALJs’ determination in the vast majority of cases. The Tribunal, this past year, denied 76 percent of taxpayer’s exceptions and 100 percent of the Department’s exceptions.

3. As in prior years, Sales Tax and Personal Income Tax once again made up the bulk (about 85%) of cases before the DTA.

4. One area of concern raised by the Annual Report is the vacancy, since August 2016, in the position of the Small Claims Presiding Officer. As one might expect, this has resulted in a significant jump (from 67 to 95) in the open inventory of Small Claims cases.

For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of the DTA, the Annual Report also contains general information concerning the DTA’s mission, functions, and operations. If you’d like to review these summaries in detail, the 2017-2018 New York State Tax Appeals Annual Report can be found at https://www.dta.ny. gov/pdf/reports/2017-2018annualreport.pdf. Although not expressly covered in the Annual Report, experience tells us that having the assistance of a tax practitioner who understands the DTA greatly increases a taxpayer’s chances of successfully challenging an assessment. So while the Annual Report is a great starting point, we think your best resource may be your two authors!

Post a comment:

*All fields are required.

Attorney Advertising
Hodgson Russ LLP

Principal Address:
The Guaranty Building
140 Pearl Street, Suite 100
Buffalo, NY 14202
Tel: 716.856.4000
Stay Connected
RSS LinkedIn

About This Firm

Hodgson Russ attorneys facilitate the U.S. legal aspects of transactions around the world. We practice in every major area of law and use multidisciplinary work teams to serve the specific, often complex, needs of our clients, which include public and privately held businesses, governmental entities, nonprofit institutions, and individuals.