The New York State Comptroller's Office reports it has halted more than $21 million in dubious personal income tax refunds so far this year.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)

According to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, auditors are working to "stay one step ahead" of schemes used by tax cheaters.

Most of the questionable refunds sought involved tax returns filed by people who claimed refundable credits based on incorrect information.

In some case, taxpayers attempted to use fake dependents or understated their income.

The auditors also caught $2.2 million in refunds that appeared to be linked to unscrupulous tax preparers who filed false claims.

DiNapoli said other schemes have involved the use of "questionable" social security numbers and intentionally misstating deductions.

The state has paid out $4.4 billion in 2017 refunds already this tax season. An estimated $466 million in additional refunds have yet to be paid.

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