New York – Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax Protective Claims for Refund

SALT Report 1975 – On August 22, 2012 the New York Supreme Court ruled that New York’s metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax had been unconstitutionally passed by the New York State Legislature.  In their decision, the court noted that because the tax does not serve a state interest, New York’s Constitution requires that the law be passed by either a home rule message or by a message of necessity with a two-thirds vote. Because neither of these occurred, the tax was deemed unconstitutional.  Currently, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is appealing the decision.

Therefore, until a final decision has been made, taxpayers are urged to file a protective claim for refund.  A protective claim is a refund claim that is centered on an unresolved issue and is filed to protect the taxpayer from being barred pending resolution of the issue.

Therefore, taxpayers should file refund claims to protect any potential refunds of MTA taxes before the statute of limitation expires.  For example, taxpayers who paid MTA taxes for the period ending December 31, 2009 that was due February 1, 2010 must file a claim by February 1, 2013.

The Department provides threes ways in which taxpayers can file a claim:

  • If you have an Online Service account you can login and file through the services menu,
  • Complete an electronic form, or
  • Call the automated telephone service at 518-485-2392

Taxpayers do not need to file a new protective refund claim for each filing period in which they paid the tax. Once filed, a claim covers all periods still open under the statute of limitation and includes all future periods.

Also, taxpayers should not file a protective claim for refund by amending their MCTMT returns.  An amended return is not a valid refund option however, if one was already submitted you should re-file your claim using one of the above methods.

Finally, the Department warns that although the constitutionality of the tax is being appealed the tax is still in effect and the Department will notify taxpayers if the requirement to pay the tax and file returns changes.

For Further Information:

New York Department of Taxation – MCTMT Legal proceedings and protective claims for refund