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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tax amnesty is a limited-time opportunity for a specified group of taxpayers to pay a defined amount, in exchange for forgiveness of a tax liability (including interest and penalties) relating to a previous tax period or periods and without fear of criminal prosecution. It typically expires when some authority begins a tax investigation of the past-due tax. In some cases, legislation extending amnesty also imposes harsher penalties on those who are eligible for amnesty but do not take it.[1]

Instances

In 2009, a federal U.S. tax amnesty was granted to more than 14,700 delinquent taxpayers. [2] FoxBusiness reported on the amnesty without controversy [3], and as of the day after the program ended, FoxNews had done no original reporting on the 2009 tax amnesty program [4], despite generating negative original reporting and commentary on amnesty in the context of immigration law [5].

Many U.S. states have had tax amnesties.[6] The City of Los Angeles collected $18.6 million in its 2009 tax amnesty program, claiming that the amount was $8.6 million more than was expected and that businesses saved $6.7 million in penalties. [7] The state of Louisiana brought in $450 million from its 2009 tax amnesty program, three times more than what was expected, according to Republican Governor Bobby Jindal. [8]

In a 2007 U.S. Senate bill that did not become law, a tax amnesty for illegal immigrants was proposed on the basis of the impracticality of accurately estimating their back taxes. The tax amnesty was supported by then-president George W. Bush and his Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.[9]

Outside the U.S., a 2009 Italian tax amnesty yielded €5 billion, and a 2007 Russia tax amnesty program[10] collected $130 million in the first six months[11]. The Russian program was not open to anyone previously convicted of tax crimes such as tax evasion.

References

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