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State details an amnesty program for unpaid penalties and interest charged to businesses – but you still owe the back taxes

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on Feb. 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm with No Comments »
February 1, 2011 1:30 pm

If you own a business and owe the state, here’s a way to find a fresh start.

If you owe penalty fees and interest charges on the tax money you owe to the Department of Revenue, the state has declared a limited amnesty.

You’ll still owe the principal tax bill, but the state will forgive interest and penalties if you apply by mid-April, according to a release from DOR.

“Hardworking business owners have faced some very tough economic times over the past several years,” department Director Suzan DelBene stated. “This program will help them meet their tax obligations without the additional burden of penalties and interest.”

The amnesty program was authorized by the Legislature during its special session last December at the request of Gov. Chris Gregoire.

To take advantage of the amnesty program, businesses must submit an application by April 18, and taxes due must be paid in full by April 30.

Businesses can find complete program details and the program application at

Mike Gowrylow, DOR spokesman, said Tuesday that 50,000 businesses in the state will qualify for the amnesty, and that the department expects some 10,000 to apply. The program could garner as much as $24.4 million in state revenue and $3.9 million in local revenue.

One Pierce County business will be saving $100,000, Gowrylow said.

The department has lately seen an overall increase – and a recent decrease – in accounts receivable, Gowrylow said. Where businesses owed an average $115 million before the economy sickened, the figure peaked at $243 million in December, 2009. Last December the figure had fallen to $183 million owed in back taxes, penalties and interest.

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