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Ky. amnesty program designed to help delinquent taxpayers

By: Tanner Hesterberg Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg Email

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - If you owe back taxes to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, you may be eligible for some help in paying them back.

The state is allowing you to settle up without any fees, penalties or threat of prosecution if you fell behind on your taxes from December 1, 2001, to October 1, 2011.

"I think it's a win-win situation," said Byron Jacobs, a CPA and Vice President of Bank of Hindman. "For both the state, which is in need of revenues, as are most states. And it's a win situation for the taxpayer that they can get a fresh start."

But Jacobs said there is a caveat.

"Once you do apply for this amnesty and pay your taxes, you have to stay current for the next three years," he said. "Or the penalties and fees and interest will be reinstated and you will owe those again."

Officials at the Department of Revenue are in the process of mailing out applications to 170 thousand eligible individuals and businesses statewide.

"They have identified taxpayers who owe back taxes and put together a synopsis of what those taxes are, how much they owe and then how they can apply for amnesty," said Pamela Trautner, the Communications Director for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.

Lawmakers okayed a similar program ten years ago and more than 23,000 people participated.

"In 2002 the state did net a little over $40 million in back taxes," Trautner said. "This year the goal is to reach about $56 million."

The amnesty program starts on Monday and runs through the end of November. If you decide to pay your back taxes during that time, you will still owe half the interest.

Even if you don't receive an application in the mail, you could still be eligible for back tax relief.

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