Rejecting an attempt to apply the doctrine of estoppel against the Department of Taxation and Finance, the Appellate Division, Third Department, has upheld a decision of the Tax Appeals Tribunal that the taxpayer’s protest of a notice of deficiency asserting a fraud penalty had not been timely filed. Ryan v. Tax App. Trib., No. 518257, 2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 08012 (3rd Dep’t, Nov. 5, 2015). After pleading guilty to failing to pay income taxes for 2002 through 2007 and paying restitution, Mr. Ryan received a notice of additional liability dated October 19, 2011, asserting a fraud penalty, but failed to request a conciliation conference within 30 days as is required under Tax Law § 170 (3-a)(h) when a fraud penalty is asserted. He argued that the Department should be estopped from raising the 30-day deadline because the letter advising him of the additional liability stated that he had 90 days to request a conciliation conference. The Third Department rejected the argument, finding that the doctrine of estoppel does not apply in tax cases unless there is “manifest injustice,” and that there could not have been any confusion since the notice clearly stated in boldface type the actual due date to protest of November 18, 2011.
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Third Department Affirms Decision Dismissing Challenge to Fraud Penalty for Failure to Protest Within 30 Days
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