New York City Lawmakers Crack Down on Tax Fraud

by Claudia Morell
A A
Mayor Bloomberg Discusses Tax Fraud in the City.
Flickr, asterix 611

With the April 18th tax deadline fast approaching, New York City is cracking down on fraudulent tax centers across the five boroughs.

New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs has announced the results of an investigation on tax centers around the Big Apple.

Out of 1200 sites, they found 1 in 3 centers violated federal tax regulations. The charges ranged from not having an accountant or lawyer on site, to failing to disclose the strict terms of rapid refund loans. As a result, Mayor Bloomberg is urging New Yorkers need to be extra cautious when it comes to their money,

"Tax preparation is complex. Whether you have a little money or a lot of money. And there's nothing wrong with demanding answers, asking questions, and saying 'no' until I understand it," explained the Mayor.

And a majority of those violators were located in low income neighborhoods. City Councilman Dan Garodnick said these centers target lower income families with promises of fast money through tax refund loans,
 
"These non-disclosed, refund anticipation loans are some of the most shameless, predatory, and deceptive products out there. And to offer them under the guise of 'rapid returns' is even worse," Garodnick revealed.

The city urges New Yorkers who make $57,000 or less to go to city-sponsored tax sites, including VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) for free help.

 

 

WFUV News and Public Affairs

From interviews with newsmakers to features about local issues, the WFUV News team keeps listeners informed about the Tri-State area. Learn more.
How are we doing? Take our WFUV News survey.