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NH Department of Revenue Administration Launches One-Time Tax Amnesty Program

Monday, December 28, 2015  
Posted by: Emily Owens
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NH Department of Revenue Administration Launches One-Time Tax Amnesty Program

Amnesty initiative provides last chance to pay outstanding taxes without penalties and with half the accrued interest; program could generate up to $16 million in revenue for the state

In an initiative that could raise as much as $16 million in critical revenue for the New Hampshire General Fund, the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) has launched a one-time Tax Amnesty Program providing taxpayers the opportunity to pay any outstanding taxes without penalty and with 50% of accrued interest. The DRA’s Tax Amnesty Program runs from December 1, 2015 to February 15, 2016. This program is open to any individual or business. For more information, please visit http://revenue.nh.gov/amnesty, or call Central Tax Services at 603-230-5920.

“We understand people fall behind on taxes for any number of reasons, and this Tax Amnesty Program is designed to provide the public with a one-time opportunity to free themselves from outstanding taxes, while paying significantly less than they owe,” said John Beardmore, Commissioner of the Department of Revenue Administration. “Along with potentially saving individual taxpayers millions of dollars, this program provides the state with the chance to generate much-needed revenue, as the DRA Tax Amnesty Program could deliver as much as $16 million to the NH General Fund, which funds a range of essential programs and services.”

New Hampshire lawmakers established the DRA Tax Amnesty Program during the 2015 legislative session. DRA last coordinated a similar tax amnesty program in 2001, raising nearly $15 million in revenue for the state. In 2005, DRA managed a tax amnesty program specifically for real estate taxes. About 80% of New Hampshire’s general taxes are collected by DRA and are used to fund critical programs and services, including education, health and social services, administration of justice and public protection, and resource protection and development.

“I am pleased the tax amnesty program is underway because it allows taxpayers who may have fallen behind to pay back taxes without penalty and with only half of the normal interest owed, supporting businesses and taxpayers while maintaining the state's fiscal responsibility,” said Governor Maggie Hassan.

According to Beardmore, 11,485 tax notices are in collection status totaling $23.9 million in outstanding taxes. The average outstanding tax notice amounts to $2,081. Business taxes account for the largest portion with 4,266 notices totaling $14.1 million in overdue taxes. That is followed by Meals and Rooms taxes with 5,812 notices totaling more than $6 million outstanding.

To take advantage of the DRA Tax Amnesty Program, taxpayers must file any required outstanding tax returns and pay all unpaid taxes and 50% of applicable interest by February 15, 2016. An online interest calculator is available on the DRA website at http://revenue.nh.gov/amnesty/tax-calculator.htm. Amnesty is available to any taxpayer who has a delinquent tax return or has not paid a tax which was due on or before February 15, 2016. This applies to anyone with an outstanding tax notice, including those in the appeal process.

As an example, if a taxpayer failed to pay a $1,000 Interest and Dividends Tax due in April 2013, that taxpayer currently owes DRA a total of $1,483.44, between the original bill and penalties and interest. Utilizing the Tax Amnesty Program, that taxpayer would pay $1,066.72, saving a total of $416.72.

In another scenario, if a taxpayer owes $1,600 in business taxes due on April 15, 2014, that taxpayer currently owes DRA a total of $2,293.27, after penalties and interest. Under the Tax Amnesty Program, the taxpayer would pay $1,666.64, saving a total of $626.63.

“We urge taxpayers to take advantage of this program now, as this will be the last chance to pay outstanding taxes before all penalties become mandatory,” Beardmore added. “The Tax Amnesty Program is an opportunity for taxpayers to meet their civic obligations, while at the same time making a profound positive impact on the state of New Hampshire.”

DRA administers a variety of taxes, including Business Enterprise Tax, Business Profits Tax, Interest & Dividends Tax, Meals and Rooms Tax, Communications Services Tax, Electricity Consumption Tax, Real Estate Transfer Tax, Tobacco Tax, Smokeless Tobacco Tax, Utility Property Tax, Railroad Tax, Private Car Tax, Nursing Facility Quality Assessment and Medicaid Enhancement Tax. DRA collected $1.9 billion in revenue during Fiscal Year 2014 to support the NH General Fund.

DRA has seen tax revenue exceed projections this year. So far this year, business tax revenue is up 15.4%, Interest and Dividends Tax revenue is up 8.8%, Real Estate Transfer Tax revenue is up 19.5% and Meals and Rooms Tax revenue is up 7.8% compared to last year.

About the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
The New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) is responsible for fairly and efficiently administering the tax laws of the State of New Hampshire. DRA collects approximately 80% of New Hampshire’s general taxes. During Fiscal Year 2014, DRA collected $1.9 billion in revenue for the State of New Hampshire. DRA also provides assistance to municipalities in budgeting, financing and real estate appraisal. To learn more about DRA, please visit: http://revenue.nh.gov.


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