RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Millions of dollars are needed to fund state education, and public safety programs are being held up by delinquent taxpayers. Now, Virginia leaders are trying to make it easy for you to pay up.
It's called the Tax Amnesty Program. You may be able to qualify to have fees removed from your income tax bill if you sign up now. Those behind on paying their state income taxes are given a second chance to get it done.
Advertisements targeting Virginians who either haven't filed their state taxes or haven't paid what they owe say, "Hiding from your tax debt won't make it go away."
"It's like any other household chore sometimes or this or that, but you need to get it done," said CPA James Ayers.
He understands sometimes folks just don't get around to filing their income taxes.
"We were traveling…You possibly weren't able to file the return at the time. You didn't know you had to file the return at that time…Maybe you just ran out of time and forgot about it," he said pointing to different reasons he's heard from clients.
Whatever the reason, the Commonwealth is now saying it wants to help you. That's because more than $725 million are due to Virginia to help fund education, health care, even public safety. Hundreds of thousands of folks have not paid up.
Through the Tax Amnesty Program, some taxpayers will qualify to have their penalties waived and get up to half of their interest waived too.
If you owe $5,000, and $3000 of that is from actual taxes with a $1500 penalty included plus $500 in interest, under the state's current offer - you could end up paying $3,250 instead of the full $5000.
"I mean, it makes sense to me as an accountant," Ayres said.
Creating a win-win situation. You can get caught up on what you owe, and the state can claims hundreds of millions of dollars.
If you want to find out if you qualify for this program, call 1-877-PAY-VTAX. Although many businesses will be observing Veteran's Day on Monday, the state's phone lines will be open.
Tuesday is the last day to qualify for this penalty-free payback plan. After Tuesday, an additional 20 percent fee will be added to past due taxes.
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