For nearly two years, the Department of Revenue has had the legal authority to issue notices of intent to suspend drivers' and other professional licenses in cases where taxpayers have ignored other means of collection of back taxes.
In the current fiscal year, which is soon to close on June 30, DOR has received payments from 2,979 taxpayers who received the notice, resulting in the collection of $17 million in back taxes.
In FY09, the program's first year, 1,308 taxpayers made payments of $9 million.
Issuance of license suspension notices has long been utilized for the collection of overdue child support payments. Since the inception of this program in Child Support Enforcement in 2004, more than $200 million in child support has been collected.
The topic of license suspension came up last week at a meeting DOR held for tax practitioners at 100 Cambridge Street in Boston. To see a video of the discussion go to DORMTV and click on the practitioners tab.
As you will see from the video, the issuance of a notice of intent to suspend a driver's license comes only after other collection methods have failed to produce any kind of resolution or payment plan. Suspension is a last resort for DOR, and is reserved for taxpayers who owe substantial amounts.
A taxpayer who receives a notice of intent to suspend has 30 days to respond. After that, the Registry of Motor Vehicles sends a notice to the taxpayer that the license will actually be suspended in 10 days.
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