Sometimes taxpayers DO get a break! In Illinois, the Secretary of State’s office announced that they have set up an amnesty program for all corporate businesses that owe franchise tax or license fees. It’s a limited-time offer, set to begin February 1, 2008, and end at the close of business on March 17, 2008.
To take advantage of the amnesty offer, business owners must complete an amnesty program petition form and pay all overdue franchise taxes, license fees, and standard filing fees. The link to the Illinois web site, the full rules and the amnesty petition is here. (If that doesn’t work, cut and past this link into your browser: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/franchisetax.html).
Participating corporations will receive amnesty from all accrued penalty and interest payments due as well as any exposure to civil or criminal prosecution.
And, while compliance looks to be voluntary, there are penalties for not making the right choice. Business structures that owe past franchise taxes or filing fees will see the monthly interest rate charged on their delinquent franchise taxes double from 1% to 2%.
I wish more states offered amnesty programs like this from time to time. In some cases, by the time the penalties and interest are calculated it’s like a credit card debt – many times higher than the original amount.