Security Hinders NY Online Tax Program

As a service to taxpayers and accountants, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has provided the ability to visit the agency's Web site and obtain the state's list of estimated tax payments to enable individuals to compare their own payments to the state's.

However, the system is not without fault, and the main problems seem to fall into the security arena.

Up to now, access has been given based on social security numbers and the taxpayer's name. Much in the same vein as the Social Security Administration experienced last year, taxpayers are very wary about the use of their SSNs to access their records falling into the wrong hands.

The agency has promised an overhaul of the system, and for the time being, this part of the site has been shut down. Officials say the system should be up and running again--with new security measures--on Jan. 18.

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