SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) today posted the names of 131 businesses and individuals that each owes over $1,000 in taxes on the department website tax.illinois.gov. Leading up to the posting, IDOR sent two rounds of notices to nearly 20,000 delinquent taxpayers which generated more than $7.2 million in payments. In addition to posting the names of the 130 delinquent taxpayers online, IDOR will continue to pursue those on the list until their combined debt of more than $5 million is paid.
According to state law, the department is able to post the names of taxpayers who have owed at least $1,000 in taxes for six months, been notified by certified mail, and been given the chance to pay.
“Every year there are millions of Illinoisans that pay their taxes in full on time, but some taxpayers try to slip by,” said Brian Hamer, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. “We use our online list of delinquent taxpayers to help us collect payments from those who have refused to pay their fair share.”
The threat of disclosure is particularly effective with self-employed professionals and small businesses where some routine collection tools, such as the ability to garnish wages, may not work. In addition, companies don’t want the negative publicity they could receive from being on the delinquent taxpayer list.
One such company in Peoria County received a certified notice on August 4, 2007 that they would be posted on the Illinois Department of Revenue’s online delinquent taxpayer list if they failed to pay their debt. To avoid having their company name in the list, they paid their delinquent tax of $147,564 on August 17, 2007.
In addition to the money collected, the notices prompted another 2,031 taxpayers to provide documentation (e.g. a W-2 to show that tax had been withheld from their salary or a schedule that supports a credit claimed) that showed that they did not owe taxes; these adjustments total more than $1.8 million.
In fiscal year 2007, the department’s effort to collect overdue taxes from taxpayers who had ignored bills yielded nearly $365 million, an 8.6 percent increase from FY 06.
IDOR also introduced several new programs this year to increase collections which have shown to be quite effective. Under one new collection program, IDOR now refers Individual Income Tax accounts over $25,000 to field offices to attempt personal contact. The department also initiated a subpoena program to help confirm and/or locate assets shown on credit reports.
The Department of Revenue also plans to launch a program with the Attorney General’s office next year to allow IDOR to enter a judgment on delinquent taxpayers in order to discover assets.
To remove their names from the list posted today, taxpayers need to contact the department and pay the taxes owed.
The fully searchable list is available on the department’s web site at www.tax.illinois.gov.