Pennsylvania's Post Amnesty Attack!

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According to a Pennsylvania News Release on October 15, 2010, Pennsylvania has recovered nearly $1.4 million in back taxes since the end of Pennsylvania's Tax Amnesty Program on June 18.

The following is a copy of the News Release:

“Before Tax Amnesty ended, we promised to step up enforcement efforts against anyone who did not take advantage of that generous, yet limited-time offer to settle back taxes,” Revenue Secretary C. Daniel Hassell said. “We first delivered on that promise by publicly naming tens of thousands of tax delinquents online. Now we’re delivering on a second promise, to hold corporate officers personally accountable for taxes their businesses owe.

“After Tax Amnesty, we pledged to double efforts in issuing responsible party tax assessments, where assessments are filed against a business and against the corporate officers or individuals responsible for that business. In just four months, we’ve already surpassed the total number of responsible party assessments issued in all of last year.”

From June 18 through Oct. 12, the department issued more than 1,900 third-party assessments, as compared to about 1,500 issued in all of 2009. Nearly $1.4 million in back taxes has been settled as a result of this stepped-up enforcement effort.

“At that pace, Revenue stands to triple efforts to hold corporate officers and other responsible parties accountable for their businesses’ delinquent taxes,” said Hassell. “We’ve pledged to the 97 percent of Pennsylvanians who do the right thing by paying taxes in full and on time that we would pursue unpaid state taxes even more aggressively, and we continue to fulfill that promise.”

The department also released the latest monthly update to its recently expanded online list of state tax liens. The revised list details nearly 43,000 state tax liens against individuals and businesses that owe $255.8 million in state taxes.

The revised list reflects the addition of 2,002 new liens filed in September for an additional $8.1 million in overdue state taxes. New liens are in boldface type on the online list. A total of 663 liens totaling $3.7 million were satisfied and removed from the list.

Publicly identifying tax delinquents can be a successful tax collection incentive. About half of all states use Internet lists to help collect unpaid taxes, including Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

The list includes all outstanding state tax liens filed between July 1, 2009 and Oct. 1, 2010. The revised list is updated monthly to include newly filed liens and remove satisfied liens.

Information on the website is public as a result of liens filed by the Revenue Department. Each lien is recorded in the prothonotary’s office of the county where the person lives or does business. The amounts listed on the website represent the original lien amounts. The current amount of tax due may differ from the amount listed on the site because of partial payments and/or the accrual of additional interest since the tax lien was filed.

Anyone appearing on the list should call the Revenue Department at 717-783-3000 to make payment arrangements.

The complete tax delinquent list is available at www.revenue.state.pa.us, under the “Hot Topics” tab on the home page.

Media contact: Elizabeth Brassell, 717-787-6960

Editor’s Note: A table summarizing all 42,968 liens and lien amounts, by county, is available at http://www.revenue.state.pa.us/, under the “Hot Topics” tab on the home page.
 
So What?
 
If your company is delinquent, it may make sense to proactively resolve your outstanding liabilities via a PA Voluntary Disclosure Agreement.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue operates a voluntary disclosure program allowing taxpayers who are liable for states taxes to come forward and make settlement arrangements with the Department. Interested taxpayers must complete the Business Activities Questionnaire (Form DAS-77). Taxpayers who are under investigation by the Department's Bureau of Audits or Discovery Division are ineligible for the program. The program may be utilized with regard to corporate, sales and use, personal income, and employer withholding. Program participation is for five years plus the current year for corporate taxpayers and three years plus the current year for other taxpayers.

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