New York Adds an Economic Hardship Exception to License Suspension Statute
By: Heather Marello, Esq.
In 2013, New York added Section 171-v to the tax law, which provides that the State may suspend a taxpayer’s driver’s license if his or her tax, penalty and interest exceeds $10,000 and the taxpayer is not in an installment payment arrangement or have an accepted Offer in Compromise by the Tax Department. When the law was passed, it provided for six exceptions from the license suspension realm:
- The notice was addressed to the wrong taxpayer;
- The past-due tax liabilities were satisfied in full;
- The taxpayer’s wages are being garnished for the past-due tax liabilities;
- The taxpayer’s wages are being garnished for past due child support or past due child and spousal support pursuant to an income execution;
- The taxpayer has a commercial driver’s license; or
- The Department incorrectly found that the taxpayer failed to comply with the terms of a payment arrangement made with the commissioner more than once within a twelve-month period.
These exceptions left much to be desired from taxpayers who could not afford the payment arrangement terms demanded by the Department or who had a rejected Offer in Compromise. The legislature listened, and effective July 11, 2019, two more exceptions were added to Section 171-v of the tax law.
- The taxpayer receives public assistance or supplemental security income;
- The taxpayer demonstrates that suspension of the taxpayer’s driver’s license will cause the taxpayer undue economic hardship.
These new exceptions open a new door to taxpayers who, despite their efforts, could not come into compliance on the State’s terms.
Andreozzi Bluestein has extensive experience representing taxpayers before New York State with respect to notices of proposed license suspension. If you or a client have received a notice of proposed license suspension or have had your license suspended, please call us at any time for a no-obligation consultation.
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