State offers a reprieve for delinquent taxpayers

February 7, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 7, 2011

The state is offering some businesses more time to settle old tax bills.

The state Department of Revenue launched a tax amnesty program Feb. 1 to waive penalties and interest on certain unpaid state business taxes.

Legislators OK’d the amnesty program for businesses facing overdue state tax bills in early December. Taxpayers may be eligible to pay the overdue taxes without penalties or interest under the amnesty program.

The amnesty — authorized by the Legislature during a one-day special session Dec. 11 — applies to state business-and-occupation and public-utility taxes, and state and local sales and use taxes.

“Hardworking business owners have faced some very tough economic times over the past several years,” Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said. “This program will help them meet their tax obligations without the additional burden of penalties and interest.”

Qualifying taxpayers can apply for the program from Feb. 1 to April 18. Participants must pay back taxes by April 30.

The program is expected to generate $24.4 million for the state and $3.9 million for local governments during the fiscal year ending in June. The state expects 10,000 of 50,000 delinquent businesses to participate

“This program will generate unpaid tax revenue that the state otherwise would spend months trying to recover, helping ease the state through its budget crisis,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “At the same time, it gives many businesses a fresh start in 2011, which so many business owners need following the Great Recession.”

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