State Tax Department warning North Country of fake tax payment demand letters scam
Saturday, September 7, 2019 - 4:44 pm

St. Lawrence County taxpayers are being warned about fake letters that demand immediate payment for an outstanding tax debt and threaten revocation of passports and driver licenses if the warning is ignored.

The return address on this letter is:

Tax Processing Center

Internal Processing Service

Public Judgement Records

The letter states that the recipient has failed to respond to prior notices, demands full payment by a specific date, and provides an 888 number to call to avoid having personal property levied and sold. It also threatens to revoke the recipient’s driver license and passport.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance emphasizes that the letter is a fake and a scam.

“This is a common scam in which the recipient is threatened out of the blue with punitive action unless payment—in this case, $12,444 —is made immediately,” said state Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “In contrast, our department works with taxpayers who have existing tax debt, such as by establishing an installment payment agreement, to resolve the issue. We also work with all levels of law enforcement to bring the fraudsters who commit these types of crimes to justice.”

The Tax Department also routinely explains a taxpayer’s right to challenge a bill or notice, or other departmental actions, and offers several ways to pay a bill.

The notice from the state Tax Department says it never threatens arrest or revocation of passports.

Those who receive a suspicious letter that claims to be from the NYS Tax Department are asked to contact the Tax Department by phone (518-451-1566) or email ([email protected]).

Scammers have also claimed to be from the New York State Treasury, which wants to be notified at 800-771-7755.