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BATON ROUGE - Secretary of Revenue John Kennedy today announced that the 1998 Louisiana Tax Amnesty program, which gives qualified taxpayers the opportunity to pay delinquent taxes and interest without fear of penalty or prosecution, will end on December 31, 1998.
"We don''t do this every year, so this is the last chance for a second chance for taxpayers who have legitimately fallen behind on a state tax obligation," says Secretary Kennedy. The last Tax Amnesty program was conducted in 1987.
Tax Amnesty allows taxpayers who have not already been contacted by the Department of Revenue about their delinquency to pay the back taxes owed, and only one-half of the interest accrued, without penalty or fear of civil or criminal prosecution by the Department. Taxpayers who owe $500 or less in taxes per tax period prior to July 1, 1997 and who have been contacted by the Department for taxes due are also eligible for Tax Amnesty.
Taxpayers who are a party to a criminal investigation or to any civil or criminal litigation that is pending in any state or federal court for nonpayment, delinquency, or fraud relating to any state tax imposed by state law, are prohibited from participating in the Tax Amnesty program.
"Tax Amnesty recognizes that nobody''s perfect," says Secretary Kennedy. "Many times, people get behind in their taxes for reasons beyond their control. The purpose of Tax Amnesty is to give these taxpayers a second chance."
Kennedy emphasizes that all types of taxes are eligible for Tax Amnesty, including individual income, sales, and inheritance taxes. In addition, "small businesses" (defined in the legislation as a business whose gross income does not exceed $1 million in any of the three years prior to the year for which amnesty is being requested) can also apply for Tax Amnesty the same as individuals.
Taxpayers can apply for Tax Amnesty by submitting an application that is available by calling the toll-free Tax Amnesty Hotline at 1-800-662-0546 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Applications are also available at the Department of Revenue''s Internet Web Site at http://www.rev.state.la.us, as well as at Department of Revenue regional offices across the state.
"Under the direction and leadership of Governor Mike Foster, the Louisiana Department of Revenue is working hard to make paying taxes as fair, easy, and convenient as possible," says Secretary Kennedy. "Our Tax Amnesty Program is another step in that direction."
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