Press Releases

Revised 1998 Tax Amnesty Numbers Top $1.3 Million

Secretary Kennedy Says New Record Is Proud Accomplishment For Department

March 10, 1999

BATON ROUGE - A record $1.3 million has been brought in for the state to date under the 1998 Taxpayer Amnesty Program, according to revised statistics released today by Secretary of Revenue John Kennedy.

"Now that we have had the time to process nearly all of the applications, I am proud to say that our 1998 Taxpayer Amnesty program has shattered records in terms of revenue generated for the state and the number of taxpayers served," says Secretary Kennedy.

As of March 5, 1999, 5,489 applications have been returned and $1,364,729.84 collected during the three-month Tax Amnesty period of October 1, 1998 to December 31, 1998. By comparison, the 1985 program generated $1.2 million dollars and helped 382 taxpayers, while the 1987 program collected $279,000 helping only 77 people. "The huge success of the Tax Amnesty program is a major accomplishment for the Department," says Secretary Kennedy.

Tax Amnesty allowed individuals or small businesses who had not already been contacted by the Department of Revenue about their delinquency to pay the back taxes owed, only half of the interest accrued, no penalty and have no fear of civil or criminal prosecution by the Department. In addition, taxpayers who owed $500 or less in taxes per tax period prior to July 1, 1997, and who had been contacted by the Department for taxes due, were also eligible for Tax Amnesty. All types of taxes were eligible, including individual income, sales, and inheritance taxes.

"Tax Amnesty recognized that nobody''s perfect," says Secretary Kennedy. "Under the direction and leadership of Governor Mike Foster, the Louisiana Department of Revenue is working hard to make paying taxes as fair, easy, and convenient as possible. The success of the Tax Amnesty Program is further proof of that effort."