Occ. Code 6501570







New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




           Tax Law Judges resolve controversies between taxpayers and the New York State (NYS) Department of Taxation and Finance involving all taxes administered by that Department. Incumbents conduct formal hearings and render written determinations based on the hearing record.  Alternatively, if the parties so choose, incumbents may receive evidence by submission and render written determinations based on such submitted evidence.  Incumbents also rule on pre-hearing motions involving jurisdictional and other issues to be reviewed prior to a determination.  Additionally, incumbents conduct pre-hearing conferences to discuss issues and procedures and, where appropriate, to encourage parties to resolve the controversy by agreement.


            Tax Law Judges are classified at the Division of Tax Appeals.




            Tax Law Judge:  independently conducts quasi-judicial hearings and renders determinations based on the case record and the NYS Tax Law under the general supervision of a Supervising Tax Law Judge.


            Supervising Tax Law Judge: managerial level; oversees and directs the work of Tax Law Judges under the general direction of the Commissioner of Tax Appeals & President Tax Appeals Tribunal and ensures timely, well written and legally sound determinations.




            Tax Law Judge


Arranges and conducts pre-hearing conferences for the parties to discuss the case, narrow issues, attempt a resolution and generally aid in making the hearing process more efficient.


Arranges and conducts hearings to obtain a complete record of all facts necessary to arrive at a fair and proper determination.


·         Explains the procedures to be followed and the various rights of the parties.


·        Guides an unrepresented party through the hearing so that a full and complete factual record is made.


·         Administers oaths and affirmations.


·         Signs and issues subpoenas.


·         Asks questions of the parties or witnesses for the purpose of clarifying the record.


·         Directs the production of evidence.


·         Disposes of procedural requests and motions.


·         Maintains order and an atmosphere of fairness and impartiality.


Writes determinations containing all relevant facts and conclusions of law, setting forth a relevant legal standard and applying such standard to the facts.


·       Analyzes and researches NYS Tax Law, the Internal Revenue Code, and tax laws of other states, Treasury and departmental regulations, tax treaties with other nations, and Tax Appeals Tribunal decisions.


·       References statutes, regulations, case law, and other relevant resources when writing determinations.


·       Submits determinations to supervisor in a timely manner pursuant to internal procedures and statutory requirements.


Performs various duties to support the mission and operations of the program.


·         Responds to rush and high priority matters as they arise.


·         Assists new Tax Law Judges to develop skills for effective performance.


·         Manages case inventory to prevent excessive backlog of pending determinations.


·         Peer reviews Tax Law Judge determinations to remain current on case law.


·         Functions as a Hearing Officer for small claims tax appeals as assigned. 

            Supervising Tax Law Judge


Supervises Tax Law Judges and Hearing Officers.


·       Assigns new cases to Tax Law Judges and Hearing Officers.


·       Establishes standards and coordinates workflow to permit timely consideration of controversies, and writing of determinations to minimize backlogs.


·       Supervises the review of motion papers, and designates a Tax Law Judge to render a written determination on each motion.


·       Reviews determinations of Tax Law Judges and Hearing Officers after hearings for compliance with required standards and consistency with relevant precedents.


Supervises Hearing Operations Unit and Small Claims Case Processing.


·        Monitors case calendars and inventory to ensure timely resolution and scheduling of cases in accordance with division procedures and statutory requirements.


·       Ensures timely mailing of orders and determinations by Tax Law Judges and Hearing Officers.


Participates in tax appeals management.


·       Develops tax appeals case processing policies, administrative structure, and procedures.


·       Develops proposals and consults with management on staffing, operations, budget, and revenue production.


·       Identifies and develops statutory and regulatory changes needed to improve the statewide processing of tax appeals cases.


·       Responds to inquiries from attorneys, parties to proceedings and the public, and explains procedural requirements.


·       Compiles monthly statistics on the disposition and receipt of cases, orders, determinations, and decisions.




Tax Law Judge


Open Competitive:  Membership in good standing of the NYS Bar and five years of full-time post NYS Bar admission experience adjudicating, clerking, or litigating civil cases in a federal, state, trial, or appellate court or for an administrative agency; or managing a state or local tax program (other than for real property or unemployment insurance tax) of a corporation, a certified public accounting firm, or a federal or state agency.


Two of the five years of this experience must have been involved primarily with federal or state taxation, other than for real property or unemployment insurance taxation.


           Supervising Tax Law Judge


Promotion:  one year of permanent competitive service as a Tax Law Judge.



Revised:  9/17


NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those that were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.