State tax amnesty collection exceeds $800,000

The state’s tax amnesty program has collected more than $800,000 since it began last month, Colorado Department of Revenue officials said.

That money comes from more than 1,000 tax returns filed by Colorado businesses and individual taxpayers who owed back taxes.

The program, approved by the Colorado Legislature earlier this year, is designed to encourage late payers to settle their outstanding tax bills without having to pay any penalties or as much in interest.

“We are seeing strong participation from Colorado residents who have a chance to pay past-due taxes with no penalty and at half the usual interest rate,” department Executive Director Barbara Brohl said. “These opportunities rarely happen, so taxpayers need to act soon to take advantage of this amnesty.”

The amnesty expires Nov. 15.

The last time Colorado offered a tax amnesty was in 2003, when the state collected more than $23.4 million in unpaid taxes from about 4,100 taxpayers filing 13,400 returns. The only other time the state offered it was in 1985, when $6.4 million was collected.

The state collected $803,938 in the first three weeks of this year’s amnesty, which began Oct. 1. More than half of that amount, $488,594, came from individual taxpayers who owed back taxes as of Dec. 31, 2010.

While all Colorado taxpayers are eligible for the amnesty, it does not include anyone who already received a delinquency notice or is facing criminal charges. The amnesty also doesn’t include 2010 taxes that were due April 15.

All money collected from the amnesty is to go to the State Education Fund to cover public school spending.

For information about the program, go to http://www.coloradotaxamnesty.com or call toll free, 1-855-330-3490. All tax returns must be postmarked no later than Nov. 15 to qualify.


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