October 1, 2009 - New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward announced the appointment of Jack Trachtenberg as the state's first public Taxpayer Rights Advocate. Mr. Trachtenberg was formerly a senior associate with the law firm of Hodgson Russ LLP.
The Taxpayer Rights Advocate reports directly to the commissioner. Trachtenberg’s duties will include informing taxpayers of their rights and responsibilities with respect to audits, protests, reviews of adverse decisions, collection activities, mediation services and enforcement procedures; and identifying patterns in tax matters that may indicate systemic problems in department procedures or policies. He will also seek to assist the public with their tax problems when resolution has not been possible through normal Tax Department channels.
In accepting the Taxpayer Rights Advocate position, Mr. Trachtenberg said: "I am excited and honored to accept this appointment as New York State's first Taxpayer Rights Advocate. During my time in private practice with Hodgson Russ, I've had the opportunity to represent taxpayers on a wide range of issues. I look forward to using that experience to give the citizens of this State a voice within the Tax Department, to help them resolve their tax disputes, and to effectuate positive change that will help make the New York State tax process run more smoothly and fairly for all parties involved."
Mr. Trachtenberg is a widely published author and lecturer on New York taxation issues. Among other publications, he has authored and served as General Editor of LexisNexis New York Tax Practice Insights.
He earned his J.D. degree from the University at Buffalo Law School, and an M.A. and B.A. in Political Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.