SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) — The state of Illinois says it did better than it expected from a five week tax amnesty program last fall. “The General Assembly and the Budget Office estimated that we would bring in about 250 million dollars in new state general revenue funds this year,” said Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Sue Hofer. “Instead we far exceeded that, bringing in 315 million in money that wouldn’t have come in until next year or years beyond.”
Hofer says 78,000 taxpayers participated, paying a total of $717 million. Most of that money, about $400 million, will go to local governments and towards income tax refunds. People who are still delinquent now face double the penalties that were in effect before the no-questions-asked period.
“People who failed to take advantage of the amnesty, have received or will receive bills from the Department of Revenue that will include double the amount of interest and double the amount of penalties of what they would have had to pay, had they paid during amnesty,” said Hofer.
“12 million came from people who have never paid taxes in Illinois before – and who now will,” said Hofer. She says improved tax tracking software will make it easier for state government to remember those new taxpayers.
“Well, this is only the second time we’ve done this,” said Hofer. “And we feel that the increase in penalties and interest that are going to be charged to people who ignored this amnesty were certainly part of why the amnesty itself was successful.”
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