Colorado tax amnesty effort nets $11 million and counting
A program offering Colorado businesses and individuals amnesty to pay delinquent taxes has collected more than $11 million.
The Colorado Department of Revenue estimates it could collect an additional $3 million by the time it finishes processing payments in January, topping the $10 million to $12 million in collections that had been predicted by the Colorado Legislative Council.
“Those taxpayers who took this opportunity to pay what they owe will undoubtedly be able to start 2012 with one less worry,” said Barbara Brohl, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. “We are pleased that this amnesty period encouraged those who owed money to the state to make the wise choice of filing.”
The department reported saw a surge of tax filings in the final days before the amnesty offer expired on Nov. 15. Department officials said past amnesty offers experienced similar deadline surges. The department has taken several weeks to confirm all filings received were accurate and qualified for the amnesty.
Amnesty participants were encouraged to pay in full upon filing, but have until Dec. 31 to pay the total tax owed plus half the interest if they submitted a partial payment. The Colorado Department of Revenue continues to work with multiple filers who contacted the department during the amnesty period, but will likely submit payments in December.
State legislation enacted during the 2011 session authorized the tax amnesty program. The program allowed businesses and individuals with delinquent taxes to pay in full plus half the interest while avoiding civil and criminal penalties. Most state taxes due on or before Dec. 31, 2010 were eligible for the amnesty program. The majority of revenue collected will transfer directly to the state education fund.
“This is a good result, one that’s in line with the projection,” said State Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, a sponsor of the tax amnesty measure. “Money from the amnesty will help offset the cuts we were forced to make to K-12 education. And in tough times, we helped some small businesses and individuals catch up on their back taxes.”
State Pat Steadmans, D-Denver, who sponsored the tax amnesty bill in the Senate, agreed. “The tax amnesty program provided assistance to taxpayers that were struggling, but the main benefit will be the proceeds credited to the state education fund. While the state struggles with budget deficits and proposed cuts to school budgets, I’m glad to see help for Colorado’s school children.”