The Department of Revenue has released its report to the Legislature on the 2010 tax amnesty program, reporting a collection of $32.6 million.
The amnesty ran from April 1 to June 1, and targeted eligible business taxpayers who had previously received notices from DOR for delinquent taxes.
Under the terms of the amnesty, which were outlined in legislation (Chapter 166 of the Acts of 2009), DOR was authorized to waive unpaid penalties (and interest associated with those penalties) if eligible taxpayers paid in full the underlying tax and interested owed by June 1, 2010.
As part of the legislative authorization, DOR was also instructed to impose an additional penalty of up to $500 on any eligible taxpayer who failed to pay the outstanding full balance of tax and interest due pursuant to the amnesty program.
DOR issued 35,288 amnesty notices in advance of the amnesty and received responses from 8,495 taxpayers. The collection of $32.6 million exceeded DOR's original estimate of $20 million. The amnesty payments resulted in the waiver of $9 million in penalties
The largest single type of collection was sales and use tax, with DOR receiving $18.9 million. Meals tax was next at $7.4 million, followed by withholding taxes at $4.5 million. All other business tax types each generated collections of less than $1 million.
DOR announced the amnesty program in March. At that time, DOR Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal said: "As we did for income taxpayers last year, the Commonwealth is offering a unique opportunity for taxpayers with an existing business tax liability incurred before Dec. 31, 2009, to pay the tax owed without having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties. In this tough economy, this is a win for the taxpayers who receive amnesty bills, and for the Commonwealth which benefits by accelerating tax revenues and reducing the need for ongoing collection efforts associated with these delinquencies."
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