(WKTV) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a crackdown on tax preparers Wednesday, suspending 40 tax prepares who failed to file their own personal tax returns in 2011 and 2012.
Among those suspended were Joseph Dagostino of Vernon, Susan Roberts of Whitesboro and Phillip Scavonne of Canastota.
Once suspended, prepares can not legally complete or file a client's state tax return for compensation.
The Tax Department also recently issued 56 suspension letters. Of those, 16 preparers who received the notices filed a formal protest. Those appeals are currently under review.
New York is one of four states that regulates the tax preparer industry in an effort to reduce errors and omissions on tax returns, reduce fraud and increase the level of competence and ethics among preparers. Cuomo announced regulations in March to identify and stop fraud and scams with new rules covering the 40,000 tax preparers through the state.
"It's this simple: If you don't file your own taxes, you shouldn't be allowed to file returns for other New Yorkers," said Thomas Mattox, commissioner of taxation and finance. "Without our new regulations, we would have no recourse against these preparers or others who are plainly unqualified."