Shame on You: Vermont to Publish List of Tax Delinquents
- Sep 11, 2014 | Gail Cole
More than half of the states in the country publish lists of the top delinquent taxpayers in the state. The theory behind this practice seems to be that business owners will pay up once their neighbors, business associates and mothers can read their scofflaw names in print. It seems to be fairly effective.
Seeing this, the Vermont Department of Taxation has decided to adopt the practice. By the end of 2014, it will issue a list of 100 individual taxpayers and 100 business taxpayers with the highest amounts of unpaid tax debt. Each list will include the name and address of the delinquent taxpayer. This could cause notoriety in a state the size of Vermont.
Said Tax Commissioner Mary Peterson, “Although most taxpayers voluntarily pay their taxes on time and in full, we do have a number of taxpayers who have high tax bills outstanding, even after repeated attempts by the department to collect. This new law gives us another tool to compel taxpayers to pay what they owe.”
While it can't be fun to make such a list, at least the publicity isn't glaring. The lists are not circulated with the morning newspaper. And no drummers bearing signs announcing how much is owed are sent to perform outside delinquent businesses, as is the practice in Bangalore.
Taxpayers at risk of making the list will be notified by the Vermont Department of Taxation in the coming weeks.
States that currently publish lists of delinquent taxpayers:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York State
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
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