Virginia offering amnesty to pay back taxes

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The state is hoping to collect $48 million it is owed in back taxes by providing a one-month amnesty for delinquent taxpayers.

Under the Get Square VA,  program delinquent individual and business taxpayers can pay back their taxes between Oct. 7 and Dec. 5 without penalties and with only half the normal interest rate charges. Money collected during the amnesty period will go directly into the state’s general fund.

“Get Square VA offers individuals that haven’t paid their taxes — or haven’t been able to pay their taxes — the opportunity to clear out their obligations,” Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said in a statement. “This brief amnesty period will give Virginians who need it the chance to settle their debts while providing a boost for education, public safety and other programs supported by the state’s general fund.”

Delinquent taxpayers who do not pay by Dec. 4 will be charged the full interest rate and an additional 20 percent penalty. The Virginia Department of Taxation, which is administering the program, will send 555,000 notices to taxpayers consolidating what they owe. The average delinquent tax bill in Virginia is $2,315.

“This is an incredible opportunity for late taxpayers to pay off their tax bill at a reduced cost, while at the same time helping the state to collect on much needed funds to help support critical services, such as safety, health care, and education,” Janie Bowen, commissioner for the tax department, said in a statement.

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