Collections more than double projections
Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced the collection of an estimated $103 million in back taxes during the Department of Taxation’s “Get Square” back tax amnesty program. The total amount collected more than doubles the initial collection projections of $41 million. The payments collected will go into Virginia’s general and non-general funds to support education, public safety, and health safety net programs.
“Get Square VA gave Virginians who hadn’t or weren’t able to pay their taxes a chance to settle their obligations with the state,” said Governor Kaine. “Even in tough economic times, this amnesty period was a great success and will provide some much needed support to education, public safety, and other programs supported by the state’s general fund.”
Thousands of Virginians and Virginia businesses paid their delinquent taxes during the 60-day amnesty period from October 7 to December 5, 2009. Those who paid during the amnesty period had half of the normal interest charges and all penalties waived on their delinquent bills, while those who have still not paid incur an additional 20 percent penalty.
“We are very pleased that we more than doubled our goal of collecting $41 million for the Commonwealth during the 60-day campaign,” said TAX Commissioner Janie Bowen. “This is a tough time for people as many are out of work or struggling with other economic challenges. Taxpayers apparently recognized that amnesty doesn’t come along very often so they capitalized on this chance to get square with the state.”
The Virginia General Assembly authorized the Tax Commissioner to operate a state tax amnesty program during the 2009-10 fiscal year. Special tax amnesty programs help to bring those individuals and businesses with outstanding tax liabilities forward so late taxes can be collected. The last tax amnesty program was held in Virginia in 2003 and $98.3 million was collected at that time.
In an effort to make it as easy as possible for taxpayers to pay their back taxes, the Virginia Department of Taxation set up a special Call Center as well as Live Chat opportunities on their Web site with extended hours. Taxpayers could also pay online through QuickPay or pay in person at three Walk-In Centers, including a temporary office in Vienna.
Taxpayers who still owe taxes are urged to go to www.tax.virginia.gov to pay what they owe as soon as possible to settle their obligations.