State announces tax amnesty

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine today helped launch Get Square VA, a program administered by the Virginia Department of Taxation offering amnesty to delinquent taxpayers who pay their back taxes between Oct. 7, 2009 and Dec. 5, 2009. Most delinquent taxpayers, business or individual, may pay back taxes to the state of Virginia during this limited window with no penalties and half the normal interest charges. The Commonwealth aims to collect $48 million during the amnesty period, and funds collected will go into the general fund to support education, health, and public-safety programs.

“Get Square VA offers individuals that haven’t paid their taxes—or haven’t been able to pay their taxes—the opportunity to clear out their obligations,” said Kaine. “This brief amnesty period will give Virginians who need it the chance to settle their debts while providing a boost for education, public safety, and other programs supported by the state’s general fund.”

Get Square VA is open to most individuals, corporations, estates, trusts and partnerships that have failed to pay taxes. To participate in Get Square VA, the following steps must be taken between Oct. 7, 2009 and Dec. 5, 2009:
– If the taxpayer has delinquent returns – file required tax returns along with supporting documentation no later than Dec. 5, 2009 and pay the full amount of the tax and one half of the interest by the end of the period, or within 30 days of the date of any related assessment, whichever is later;
– If the taxpayer has outstanding tax bills – remit payment for taxes due along with half the interest amount no later than Dec. 5, 2009;
– File or pay by mail, postmarked no later than Dec. 5, 2009, or submit filings or payments online at www.GetSquareVA.com by midnight on Dec. 5, 2009.

If delinquent taxpayers do not pay their tax bill by December 5, 2009, they will be charged full interest and an additional 20 percent penalty for late taxes. The Department of Taxation is sending 550,000 notices to households and businesses with outstanding tax bills. The notices will consolidate what is owed and the potential savings through the amnesty program. The average delinquent tax bill in Virginia is $2,315.

“This is an incredible opportunity for late taxpayers to pay off their tax bill at a reduced cost, while at the same time helping the state to collect on much needed funds to help support critical services, such as safety, health care, and education,” said Janie Bowen, commissioner for the tax department.

The Virginia General Assembly authorized the operation of a tax amnesty program during the 2009-10 fiscal year. This will be the third amnesty program administered by the Commonwealth, with the last in 2003 collecting $98.3 million.

For more information, call 888.560.0057 beginning Oct. 7, or go online to www.GetSquareVA.com today.

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