CHICAGO – October 2, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today announced the start of Illinois’ tax amnesty program. Under the program, which Governor Quinn signed into law earlier this year, Illinois taxpayers have the opportunity to pay overdue state taxes without penalty or interest from Oct. 1 to Nov. 8.
“During these unprecedented fiscal times, we must do everything we can to bring additional revenues to the state,” said Governor Quinn. “This is the best opportunity for people who owe the state back taxes – for any reason – to pay them without the added burden of penalties and interest.”
To participate in the program, taxpayers must fully pay any overdue taxes between Oct. 1 and Nov. 8. The program waives penalties or interest for tax periods after June 30, 2002 and before July 1, 2009. If a taxpayer failed to file a tax return or filed incorrectly during that period, they must also file missing returns or amended returns to correct errors.
Taxpayers who participate in the amnesty program will see a significant benefit from the waiver of penalties and interest that account for $4 out of every $10 in tax debt owed to the state. Taxpayers who do not take advantage of the amnesty program will face doubled interest and penalties starting on Nov. 9.
The tax amnesty program waives interest and penalties only – the actual tax liability does not qualify. The program does not cover lien filing fees, bad check penalties or overdue taxes for which an offer of compromise has been accepted. Additionally, taxpayers who are under criminal investigation or have court cases pending are not eligible.
“Amnesty offers those who have a tax debt hanging over their head the chance to clear the slate and start over,” said Illinois Department of Revenue Director Brian Hamer. “I urge all delinquent taxpayers to take this opportunity to pay what they owe. Once the amnesty ends, we will initiate a major new effort to collect delinquent taxes, using such tools as bank levies, property liens, wage garnishments, business and professional license revocations, and even criminal prosecutions when appropriate.“
Additional information is available at Tax.Illinois.gov. The state’s Taxpayer Assistance Center representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1-800-732-8866 or 217-782-3336.