Temporary Tax Amnesty Program started for business owners in WA - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Temporary Tax Amnesty Program started for business owners in Washington

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OLYMPIA, Wash. --  The Department of Revenue's first-ever tax amnesty program begins February 1, 2011.

Qualifying businesses with overdue taxes can apply to pay them without associated penalties and interest from Feb. 1 through April 30.

"Hardworking business owners have faced some very tough economic times over the past several years," Department Director Suzan DelBene said. "This program will help them meet their tax obligations without the additional burden of penalties and interest."

The Communications Director for the Washington State Department of Revenue, Mike Gowrylow says, "We've never done this before and may never do it again.   Businesses that are unregistered, it is in their best interests to get registered because if we identify them, catch them on our own, then they're not going to get any such deal.   They're going to pay stiff penalties and interest on top of the taxes they should of paid all along."

Gowrylow also says most people qualify for the Amnesty Program unless they are undergoing Bankruptcy proceedings in court or are already under investigation for tax evasion.

The amnesty program was authorized by the Legislature during its special session last December at the request of Governor Chris Gregoire.

"This program will generate unpaid tax revenue that the state otherwise would spend months trying to recover, helping ease the state through its budget crisis," Gregoire said. "At the same time, it gives many businesses a fresh start in 2011, which so many business owners need following the great recession."

To take advantage of the amnesty program, businesses must submit an application by April 18, and taxes due must be paid in full by April 30, 2011. Businesses can find complete program details and the program application by clicking here.

The Department of Revenue estimates that about 10,000 of 50,000 delinquent businesses and additional unregistered businesses will take advantage of the program, generating $24.4 million in state revenue and $3.9 million in local revenue.
Hundreds of businesses already have requested estimates of how much they would save if they agree to pay all back taxes during the amnesty window.