Politics & Government

Kentucky offers amnesty program to tax scofflaws

FRANKFORT — Kentucky is offering tax scofflaws a one-time opportunity to pay back taxes and not face prosecution or pay late fees.

More than 170,000 businesses and individuals that owe back taxes are eligible for the amnesty program, which begins Oct. 1. Delinquent taxpayers must pay half the interest that has accumulated on the past-due taxes.

The program was approved by the legislature earlier this year as a way for the state to generate cash. A similar tax amnesty program in 2002 netted $40 million in additional revenue. More than 20,000 taxpayers participated in that program.

"This program will generate much-needed revenue for vital services in Kentucky at a time when dollars are hard to come by," said Finance and Administration Secretary Lori Flanery. "At the same time, we are making sure that delinquent taxpayers pay their overdue taxes."

Those with delinquent state taxes have until November to apply for amnesty. Those that do not participate in the amnesty program face an additional 2 percent interest charge, late fees and prosecution. If a taxpayer is granted amnesty, they must keep their tax bill current for three additional years or face more penalties.

Known delinquent taxpayers soon will begin receiving notices in the mail about the program. The program covers tax periods from Dec. 1, 2001 to Oct. 1, 2011.