By: Brandon SmithKentucky Senate
November 9, 2012
FRANKFORT – The final weeks of Kentucky’s tax amnesty are winding down, as delinquent taxpayers have until Nov. 30 to apply for amnesty or else face tougher penalties and fees, plus a higher interest rate.
The amnesty program began Oct. 1, allowing most persons or businesses owing back taxes to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to pay up without penalties or fees and with the interest owed cut in half.
“We’ve seen a great response so far,” said Lori Flanery, Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet. “Since amnesty began some six weeks ago, we’ve received thousands of payments for millions of dollars. We’ve also fielded more than 20,000 phone calls, and our website has had page views from more than 31,000 unique visitors. So, overall the response has been strong, but we expect a significant increase in activity as the deadline approaches.”
To provide additional assistance, the Kentucky Department of Revenue is extending operating hours at its 10 field offices around the state. Each office will be open regular hours plus extended hours as noted:
Saturday, Nov. 17: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 26 through Thursday, Nov. 29: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 30: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or until last taxpayer in line leaves)
Payments have come in from every county in Kentucky and from all states except Vermont and Montana.
“In most cases, the amount owed by a person or business is not a large sum,” said Tom Miller, Commissioner of the Department of Revenue. “So we recommend that all taxpayers who qualify for amnesty to take advantage of it. After the deadline, penalties are more severe and the enforcement efforts get more aggressive.”
Taxpayers won’t like what happens if they fail to take advantage of tax amnesty. The amnesty legislation calls for all penalties and fees to be reinstated once amnesty is over, which may include: 25 percent cost-of-collection fee; 25 percent assessment fee; 50 percent fee for not filing a tax return; 25 percent fee on liabilities discovered through an audit; and
all interest owed will be reinstated, plus another 2 percent added to the interest rate.
On average, taxpayers save about 30 percent on their total tax bill under amnesty. After amnesty, their liability will substantially increase, even tripling in some cases.
“This program has teeth,” said Sec. Flanery. “If you wait for us to come collecting, you’ll pay much more than if you had paid under amnesty.”
To learn more about Tax Amnesty, visit www.amnesty.ky.gov.