Monday, May 19, 2014


The DFBs (clean version = damned fool bureaucrats). 

We are told (highlight is mine) -

New Jersey wrongly notified about 2,000 taxpayers that they underpaid their 2013 taxes, but the state won’t notify them about the error unless the taxpayer asks, possibly causing taxpayers to send the state money that wasn’t owed.”

And –

The state confirmed it isn’t sending notifications to the affected taxpayers to tell them the amounts are not owed. Instead, Perone {Dept of Treasury spokesperson – rdf} said, the state explains the problem when someone calls and asks.”

This is not the problem I thought it was when I first saw the headline.  This problem concerns errors in processing 2013 state estimated tax problems.

Another frequent problem that has raised its head again this year involves taxpayers making payments by check using pre-printed 1040-V payment vouchers.  I encountered this systemic FU on two separate occasions in the past for clients whose NJ-1040 I submitted via NJWebFile.  Already I have heard from one client this year, whose balance due return I submitted via NJWebFile, who received an erroneous balance due notice from NJDOT.

What happens is the payment is incorrectly applied to the previous year’s tax account – which would result in an overpayment for that year.  However, unlike the IRS, NJDOT does not notify the taxpayer of the overpayment.

I have always said NJDOT does this purposefully – hoping the taxpayer does not discover the error, pays the tax again when erroneously billed, and allows the state to keep the double-payment to waste on entitlements and pork.  This article verifies that this is true.

NJDOT is quick to notify a taxpayer if it thinks that he/she made a mistake and underpaid their taxes.  It has a fiduciary and ethical responsibility to notify taxpayers when it, NJDOT, makes an error or receives an overpayment.

The Director of NJDOT should send a letter to each person who received the erroneous notice explaining the error and apologizing for the error. If a taxpayer sends a payment in response to the erroneous notice the payment should be automatically and immediately returned with a letter of apology.

Please write to Governor Christie to tell him this despicable practice by NJDOT is not acceptable. 

If you receive a balance due notice from a state tax agency, or the IRS, give it to your tax preparer immediately.  If you prepared the return yourself consult a tax pro.

NEVER, NEVER just automatically pay a balance due notice without first checking it out thoroughly and carefully.  More often than not it is wrong.


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