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The Department of Revenue's Division of Local Services has published its Informational Guideline Release for the Municipal Tax Amnesty Program approved as part of the recently enacted Municipal Relief Act.

The amnesty program requires enactment of a municipality's legislative body. The program does not waive payment of unpaid local taxes (property tax, motor vehicle or boat excise) but provides for the waiver of all or a uniform percentage of interest, collection costs and penalties owed on those delinquent taxes.

The taxpayer must pay the tax or excise tax within the amnesty period, which may begin anytime after the effective date of vote, and which must end no later than June 30, 2011, the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

Within those guidelines, communities may tailor their amnesty programs to particular tax types, but the application of the waiver of accrued interest, collection costs and penalties must be the same percentage for all types of the tax liabilities included in the program.

A community may choose to require taxpayers to apply for an amnesty waiver or may provide that the waiver shall automatically apply to any taxpayer who pays outstanding liabilities included in the program during the amnesty period. No matter how a community chooses to collect payment, the payment itself must be made before the end of the amnesty period.

A community may also require taxpayers to pay all outstanding liabilities included in the program in full in order to obtain a waiver.


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