The state just completed a tax amnesty program to try and bring in some unpaid taxes, but officials say there’s still an estimated 250-million dollars in uncollected taxes out there. Stuart Vos, administrator of the department’s revenue operations division, says some of the money may never be collected.
Vos says some of the unpaid money goes back 10 years, and there is a statute of limitations that generally runs 10 years, but not always. Vos says some of the 250-million is classified as uncollectible, but some is still "very collectable."
Vos says it’s easy to classify those who owe taxes. He says most of the people who don’t pay their taxes fall under two categories, those who don’t want to pay, and those who don’t have the means to pay. Vos says the Department of Revenue does a good job of figuring out the difference between the two and goes after those who don’t want to pay with "a great deal of vigor," while trying to help those without the means to pay come up with a payment plan.
Vos says it’s important to identify and collect unpaid taxes as early as possible. Vos says they typically collect about 80-percent of what is owed in the first three years. After three years, he says it gets very difficult to collect.
The Department of Revenue had hoped to collect 54-million dollars in back taxes through the amnesty program that ended Wednesday — but collections with one week to go were only five million. Vos says final figures on the tax amnesty program will be in on Friday or Monday.