Delaware tax amnesty program a ‘success’

    Owe back taxes in Delaware? The deadline for paying up with a penality expires at midnight Friday. State officials tell us how things went.

    A program offering Delaware individuals and businesses a chance to pay outstanding taxes without facing penalties has exceeded expectations, according to Division of Revenue Director Patrick Carter.

    A few hours before the midnight, October 30 deadline, Carter said the program had raised $18 million.

    “I think a lot of taxpayers saw an opportunity to help clear up their tax burdens and start fresh moving forward,” Carter said. “And so it looks like for quite a few people we’ve been able to do that.”

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    More than 8,000 businesses and individuals registered for the one-time amnesty offer which waived penalties, interest and possible legal action.

    The state far exceeded the goal of salvaging $10 million in revenue that otherwise might have been lost.

    The income will help offset a potential state budget deficit.

    It has been more than 25 years since Delaware last offered a tax amnesty. Carter says it probably won’t take that long for the next opportunity — perhaps 10 years — but he doesn’t want to reward those who don’t play by the rules.

    “Part of my recommendation is that you don’t want to make an amnesty a part of an annual or even a frequent program,” he said. “Because you kind of send a signal that if you stay in the woods, in the dark, you may have an opportunity every three, four, five years to come out and satisfy that obligation without penalty.”

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