I agree with you, Peter, that they definitely do not have their act together and also, one hand does npt know what the other hand is doing.
This may sound like a silly question, but I have to ask it, anyway.
When the State reduced the tax liability to $1,000, did they send you written notice of this reduction ? No need to answer because here is what you have to do in order to get this thing resolved. Nothing ever gets resolved if you deal with the clerks because they do not really comprehend what they are doing, they do not know what to do, and even if they did know, they do not have any authority to resolve any problems. They would take the problem to their superiors. Therefore, I always bypass the clerks and as many levels above them as possible. I go straight to the top. You would be surprised how much you can accomplish by sending your letter direclty to the "chief" and sending it FedEx. You bypass all the little indians. Now, the chief is not going to resolve the problem, but (a) He will know about your problem; and (b) he will most likely give it to someone on his staff to resolve and get in touch with you.
Therefore, write a letter, describing briefly and concisely (If at all possible, no more than one page, they have a short attention span) describe what happened, that you never received this bill because, despite your leaving a forwarding address with the post office, you never received notice, that the amount was reduced, that you paid it, they refunded the money, and lastly that you are back at square one through no fault of your own. This letter should be addressed to:
Thomas H. Mattox, Commissioner
Taxation and Finance
New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
W.A. Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12227
Enclose copies of your cancelled check and any other proof of payment you have and any other information you want them to know, and I guarantee that the problem will be resolved once and for all,
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Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you,
I hate to say this, but it is true that it is very difficult to resolve anything by dealing with the various clerks. It is very difficult to get anything permanently resolved