Tax collectors chase rich New Yorkers moving to low-tax states

The cat-and-mouse sport between state tax collectors and rich New Yorkers who’re moving to Florida has reached new ranges — and gone excessive tech.

New federal tax legal guidelines limiting the deduction of state and native earnings taxes have created incentives for rich New Yorkers to transfer to Florida or different lower-tax states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo final month blamed wealth flight for the state’s $2.Three billion income shortfall in December and January.

“Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich,” he mentioned. “We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.”

But the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is ensuring that prime earners who attempt to go away don’t escape with out an audit and a invoice. New York carried out about 3,000 “nonresidency” audits a yr between 2010 and 2017, accumulating round $1 billion, in accordance to Monaeo, an organization that sells an app for monitoring and proving tax residency.

More than half of those that have been audited misplaced their circumstances, and the common collected by New York State between 2015 and 2017 was $144,270 per audit, Monaeo mentioned. In addition to the standard audit strategies the state makes use of to be sure a taxpayer isn’t gaming the system — like checking taxpayer’s bank card payments and journey schedules — New York officers are utilizing a complete new set of high-tech instruments, together with monitoring cellphone information, social media feeds, and veterinary and dentist information. Auditors are even conducting in-home inspections to look inside taxpayers’ fridges.

“If you’re a high earner in New York and you move to Florida, your chances of a residency audit are 100 percent,” mentioned Barry Horowitz, a accomplice on the WithumSmith+Brown accounting agency. “New York has always been aggressive. But it’s getting worse.”

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