Missouri Lawmakers Seek Tax Amnesty
- Mar 11, 2015 | Gail Cole
Updated 4.29.2015: Gov. Jay Nixon has signed HB 384, establishing a tax amnesty program from September 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015.
A bill moving through the Missouri legislature would grant taxpayers amnesty from interest and penalties on unpaid taxes due on or before December 31, 2014, provided the taxes are paid in full between September 1 and November 30, 2015. The majority of the revenue generated by the tax amnesty would be deposited into Missouri’s General Revenue Fund.
HB 384 would require delinquent taxpayers to apply for amnesty, and any taxpayer involved in a criminal investigation or any civil or criminal litigation would not be eligible. Upon acceptance into the program, taxpayers would have to:
- Pay unpaid taxes in full between July 1, 2015 and September 30, 2015.
- Agree to comply with state tax laws for a period of eight years from the date of the agreement.
Taxpayers granted amnesty would not “be eligible to participate in any future amnesty for the same type of tax.”
The majority of collected revenue is expected to be from delinquent income and sales tax, although the program is open to all taxes collected by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
According to the bill’s Fiscal Note, the Department of Revenue estimate that “$75 million in total funds could be received through amnesty….” However, the Department also “assumes that an overwhelming majority of the $50 million [that would enter the General Revenue Fund], plus interest and penalties, could be collected without amnesty.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Flanigan (R) who sponsored the bill, said, “This is not a freebie. If you don’t continue to obey state law and pay your taxes, everything’s going to come back on top of you.”
Yet tax amnesty is not universally embraced. As Senator Rob Schaaf (R) noted, “The person who paid the penalty and interest one day before the Legislature creates the amnesty program is put at a big disadvantage to the person who doesn’t do that.”
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