You may have seen the fun, breezy ads for the Virginia Department of Taxation’s Get Square VA program, but the initiative is about serious business – to the tune of $48 million. The tax amnesty program, which has only been authorized two other times in the Commonwealth’s history, allows delinquent business or individual taxpayers the opportunity to pay their debt penalty free and with 50 percent of their interest waived.
“I believe you often see programs like this during weak economic times, as a way to help the state spur collections,” says Brian Wendroff, Managing Partner of WendroffCPA. “But regardless the reason, this is one of the most important tax tips we’ve ever sent out. It’s a great opportunity for people who are delinquent on their liability to catch up at a very discounted rate. If you owe late taxes, this is a perfect way to get caught up.”
The program ends on December 5th though, and after that date not only will the interest rates on late payments return to 100 percent, the state will also tack on an additional 20 percent penalty.
To participate, take the following steps:
* Mail delinquent returns along with supporting documents before December 5. You must include the amount due along with 50 percent of the interest due.
* If you file and pay by mail, the letter must be postmarked no later than December 5.
* Returns and payment can also be made on-line at www.GetSquareVA.com.
The Department of Taxation has sent more than 550,000 notices to households and businesses with outstanding tax bills, but sometimes that type of mail tends to get lost, so forward this to anybody who you think might benefit from the program. The last time the Commonwealth offered an amnesty program in 2003, $98.3 million was collected. The state hopes to collect $48 million during this amnesty period with the funds going to support education, health and public safety programs.