Delinquent tax filers get a break in Alabama




Alabama Department of Revenue will temporarily waive penalties and will not seek criminal prosecutions for delinquent tax filers who come forward and pay what they owe in state taxes. The announcement of this program “Operation Clean Slate” was made Jan. 15 by Gov. Bob Riley and revenue commissioner Tim Russell.

The program, which runs from Feb. 1 through May 15, allows leniency for individuals and businesses that voluntarily come forward and file past-due returns or amend their returns to properly report tax liabilities, provided they are not already under investigation or have not been contacted by the revenue department. The program is available, but not limited, to individual and corporate income taxes, business privilege tax, and if unregistered with the department, sales tax and use tax.

When the temporary reprieve ends, the revenue department will bring online a new $26 million computer system that will increase the department’s ability to identify those who are not paying taxes or who are under-reporting the taxes they owe.

The usual penalties for failing to file returns or pay tax due will not be imposed during Operation Clean Slate. The department will not seek to impose the civil penalty for underpayment due to negligence nor the penalty for fraud for those taxpayers who file or amend their returns and pay the proper amount due before May 15. Finally, the department will not seek any criminal penalties for failure to pay taxes for those who come forward and pay by the deadline.

Those who want to take advantage of this program can send their delinquent or amended tax returns to Alabama Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 327010, Montgomery, Al 36132-7010. Those with questions can contact the department at cleanslate@revenue.alabama.gov or at 334-242-1055.