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Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program To Begin October 1st

Secretary Kennedy Says "It''s Now Or Never" For A Second Chance On Taxes

September 24, 1998

BATON ROUGE - Secretary of Revenue John Kennedy today announced that the 1998 Louisiana Tax Amnesty Program, which gives qualified taxpayers the opportunity to pay delinquent taxes and interest without fear of penalty or prosecution, will be conducted from October 1, 1998 through December 31, 1998.

"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," says Secretary Kennedy. "Our Tax Amnesty Program is another step in that direction. It offers relief and a fresh start to those taxpayers who have been unable to pay all of their taxes when due."

Tax Amnesty allows taxpayers who have not already been contacted by the Department of Revenue about their delinquency to pay the back taxes owed, and only one-half of the interest accrued, without penalty or fear of civil or criminal prosecution by the Department. Taxpayers who owe $500 or less in taxes per tax period prior to July 1, 1997 and who have been contacted by the Department for taxes due are also eligible for Tax Amnesty.

Taxpayers who are a party to a criminal investigation or to any civil or criminal litigation that is pending in any state or federal court for nonpayment, delinquency, or fraud relating to any state tax imposed by state law, are prohibited from participating in the Tax Amnesty program.

"Tax Amnesty recognizes that nobody''s perfect," says Secretary Kennedy. "Many times, people get behind in their taxes for reasons beyond their control. The purpose of Tax Amnesty is to give these taxpayers a second chance."

Kennedy emphasizes that all types of taxes are eligible for Tax Amnesty, including individual income, sales, and inheritance taxes. In addition, "small businesses" (defined in the legislation as a business whose gross income for any one of the three years prior to the year for which amnesty is being requested does not exceed $1 million) can also apply for Tax Amnesty the same as individuals.

Taxpayers can apply for Tax Amnesty by submitting an application, which is available by calling the toll-free Tax Amnesty Hotline at 1-800-662-0546 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or in Baton Rouge at (225) 925-7456. Applications are also available at the Department of Revenue''s Internet Web Site at http://www.rev.state.la.us, as well as at Department of Revenue regional offices across the state.

Tax Amnesty benefits both the taxpayer and the State of Louisiana. The taxpayer benefits by satisfying his or her tax obligation and the state benefits by the voluntary payment of hard-to-collect back taxes, which saves the time and expense of collection efforts. "It''s a ''win-win'' for everyone," says Secretary Kennedy. "Governor Foster and I encourage all eligible taxpayers to take advantage of the Tax Amnesty program…. because it''s now or never!"