State to begin tax amnesty program - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

State to begin tax amnesty program

Legislature OK'd program with adoption of budget

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Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 11:00 pm

The state will launch a tax amnesty program that will run from May 1 to June 1.

State lawmakers included the amnesty provision in the budget bill that was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer on Jan. 28. The program gives individuals and businesses the opportunity to file past-due state tax returns with no civil penalties and a reduced amount of interest. The program aims to offer relief and a fresh start to those taxpayers who, for whatever reason, underreported or failed to file their taxes, according to a release.

“Many times, taxpayers get behind in their taxes for reasons beyond their control,” Arizona Department of Revenue Director Gale Garriott said in a statement. “The purpose of the tax amnesty is to give these taxpayers a second chance.”

Some individuals and business are not paying their fair share of taxes, the release continued, ranging from those who don’t realize they should be paying taxes to those who deliberately underreport their taxes or refuse to file altogether. When taxpayers underreport or fail to file, it places an unfair burden on the honest taxpayers who pay for essential government services.

The tax types eligible to file for amnesty include individual and corporate income, withholding, luxury, transaction privilege (sales) and use. The total tax liability must be paid in full with the amnesty application by June 1.

For taxes filed on an annual basis, such as income tax, amnesty is available for years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2002, and ending before Jan. 1, 2008. Taxpayers who file taxes, such as transaction privilege or withholding, on a monthly or quarterly basis are eligible for tax periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2003, and ending before Jan. 1, 2008.

“Tax amnesty is an opportunity for those who live, work or do business in Arizona to come clean and pay any back state taxes they owe without any civil penalties or threat of prosecution and with a reduced interest rate,” Garriott said in the release.

Taxpayers should go online to more information about the program.

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