As residents flee New York’s high taxes, state uses intrusive audits to get cash from defectors

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New York state goes to extraordinary lengths to catch wealthy residents who try to flee its burdensome taxes, leaving a gaping hole in the state’s treasury.

The aggressive approach by state tax collectors comes as the Empire State faces a $2.3 billion budget deficit that even Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “as serious as a heart attack.”

Cuomo, a vocal critic of President Trump, blamed congressional Republicans for passing tax reforms that reduced the state and local tax deduction Americans can take on their annual income tax forms — meaning residents of high-tax blue states like New York have been feeling the pinch, sparking their exodus.

“This is the flip side. Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich,” Cuomo said last month. “We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.”

“Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich. We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.”— Gov. Andrew Cuomo

But New York state auditors are doing their best to ensure that those fleeing the state’s high taxes will face difficulties, including being subjected to an audit — likely to be followed by a massive tax bill.

New York conducted 3,000 “nonresidency” audits between 2010 and 2017, recouping around $1 billion from the practice, CNBC reported.

Between 2015 and 2017, the auditors on average collected $144,270 per audit, with more than half of those who were audited losing their cases.

New York’s success rate on audits can be attributed not only to the traditional methods of investigation like going through an individual’s credit card bills, but also to new high-tech tools that include tracking phone records, social media, and even veterinary and dentist records, according to the outlet. – READ MORE

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