New York Raises Rates on Highest Earners

The New York State Legislature, following the lead of Governor Andrew Coumo, may have toppled the domino in the trend to tax higher income earners at higher rates. The two agreed to a measure to increase state income tax rates to 8.82% on those reporting more than $2 million of annual income. Read the New York Times coverage here.

High net worth individuals have been under increased scrutiny by the IRS since the rebranding and reorganization of the Large & Mid Sized Business examination division over a year ago into Large Business & International. Notably the new LB&I organization increased the IRS’s emphasis on the activities of high net worth taxpayers here and abroad. (See the “Wealth Squad” IDR we shared here a few months ago).

Now the talk of increasing rates on America’s highest earners that started with Warren Buffett and William Gates, Sr has found another advocate in the governor and lawmakers of the great state of New York. Whether this is an effect of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a budget necessity or a true compromise as suggested by members of both political parties in the New York General Assembly, the result is higher taxes for the wealthiest New Yorkers and most likely and increased scrutiny of how much they pay.

See the IRS LB&I Division’s New Wealth Squad IDR

All tax trials begin with a redetermination of tax, either by the taxpayer in a refund case, or by the government following an examination.

In the case of the latter, the primary tool of a revenue agent conducting an audit is the Information Document Request, IRS Form 4564. The recently reorganized Large Business & International division of the Internal Revenue Service has put together a team to target the activities of high net worth individuals.

In an effort that falls a bit short of being clever, the team calls itself “the Wealth Squad.” They already have started issuing IDRs like the one here to high net worth taxpayers.