The District of Columbia has begun a tax amnesty program that waives all penalties and fees on back taxes paid by Sept. 30.

The D.C. tax amnesty program will run from Aug. 2, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2010, offering individuals and businesses the opportunity to satisfy their tax liabilities. The district estimates that $170 million in known receivables are owed by 42,000 individuals and businesses (see D.C. to Offer Amnesty to 42,000 Taxpayers).

Sixty percent are located in the District with 40 percent outside, primarily in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.  The amnesty applies to all taxes administered by the Office of Tax and Revenue with the exception of real property-related taxes and the ball park fee.  All periods covered by tax returns due prior to December 31, 2009 are eligible.

“This is a good chance for people who have taxes due to step up and do the right thing,” said D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi in a statement. “We understand that people and businesses are going through tough times, so we are pleased to offer this opportunity for real savings for District taxpayers who have fallen behind with their tax obligations.”

A special Web site, www.dctaxamnesty.com, has been established to help tax delinquents expedite payment and resolve their tax liabilities.  Among the issues addressed are eligibility requirements, necessary documents plus the application form. 

Taxpayers can call the Office of Tax and Revenue at (202) 727-4TAX (4829), e-mail questions to dctaxamnesty@dc.gov, or visit the service center at 1101 4th Street, SW, Suite W270, between 8:15 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

The District of Columbia is one of a number of jurisdictions implementing tax amnesty periods this year as governments nationwide seek ways to close budget gaps. The state of Pennsylvania offered a tax amnesty program until June 18 this year (see Pennsylvania Declares Tax Amnesty). Florida, Nevada and New Mexico are also offering tax amnesty programs until Sept. 30. A public awareness program is underway to reach the residents of the district, adjacent suburbs and across the country.

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