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Delaware Cracks Down on Delinquent Taxpayers

  • Sep 25, 2012 | Gail Cole

In a news release from September 19, 2012, Patrick Carter, Director of Delaware's Division of Revenue, announced that "the State of Delaware will begin suspending professional licenses of taxpayers who fail to pay their outstanding tax liabilities." A list of the top 100 delinquent taxpayers--both individuals and businesses--was released at the same time. If threat of license suspension doesn't motivate people to pay, perhaps a little public humiliation will.

House Bill 257, signed by Delaware Governor Markell in June of this year, aims to:

  1. "encourage taxpayers engaged in any profession, occupation, calling or business requiring a license issued or renewed by any commission, board or agency under the authority of the Division of Professional Regulation of the Department of State which is named in § 8735 of Title 29 to pay overdue tax liabilities..."
  2. "...remove from the pool of competition for business within this State such taxpayers who fail to pay their tax liabilities."

Mr. Carter stated that "[p]rofessional licensees owe more than $10 million in outstanding tax liabilities to the state… ." That's not fair to those who pay their taxes. Furthermore, tax dollars are an important source of revenue for the state.

Public humiliation seems to work. In the past year, the delinquent taxpayer lists are responsible for bringing in "more than $2.8 million in back taxes from those whose names were published, or who were advised they qualify to have their names published, online."

The state expects having the ability to suspend professional licenses will pay off, too.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.